PILC and others have written to the Secretary of State for Housing to demand urgent action is taken for survivors of domestic violence during Covid-19

In light of the current Covid-19 outbreak, the Public Interest Law Centre and Solace Women’s Aid, along with many other specialist VAWG organisations, charities, pressure groups and lawyers, have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to demand that urgent action is taken for survivors of domestic violence.

The current outbreak is having a disproportionate impact on survivors of domestic violence who are unable to leave violent homes. We are demanding that separate funding be allocated to local authorities to enable them to adequately house survivors of domestic abuse in hotels or other safe and suitable accommodation.  

In the letter we highlight that ‘lockdown’ measures will cause rates of violence and abuse to increase. The impact will disproportionately fall on women due to the disproportionate number of victims of domestic violence that are women. If the government fails to increase funding available for safe accommodation for domestic abuse survivors, it will not be able to mitigate the disproportionate impact of ‘lockdown’ on women.

Despite assurances by the government that it will deliver safe accommodation in cases of domestic abuse and protect the most vulnerable in society from the impact of Covid-19, adequate measures have not been taken on behalf of domestic abuse survivors.

We demand a separate emergency fund for local authorities to ensure they are able to adequately house survivors of domestic abuse in hotels or other safe and suitable accommodation, and to publish clear information to make survivors aware of the additional support. This is paramount if the government is going to effectively protect survivors of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The letter can be read and downloaded below.