Map of Gaps: The postcode lottery of Violence Against Women support services in Britain
Each year, three million women in Britain experience rape, domestic violence, stalking or other violence. Many millions more are dealing with abuse experienced in the past.
In 2007, the inaugural Map of Gaps report documented for the first time the uneven distribution of specialised services in Britain to help women who experience violence, such as Rape Crisis Centres and refuges.
The findings were alarming: over one-third of local authorities had no specialised service provision at all. Only a minority had a range of services, defined as nine or more, covering different forms of violence (domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, trafficking, female genital mutilation and forced marriage) and types of support (safe shelter, advocacy, advice and self-help).
One year on, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women Campaign (EVAW) have repeated this research. We wanted to see if the picture of support has changed for the millions of women who are forced to deal with the legacies of violence.