An MP has urged the Government to ensure that the victims of domestic violence are given proper support.
Jess Phillips has first-hand experience of the issue, having worked for the charity Women’s Aid prior to entering Parliament two years ago.
She has this month raised concerns about ministers’ funding plans and said that assurances need to be given that those who are the victims of abuse are not turning away from refuges.
“It is not a bed space. It is a lifeline,” said Ms Phillips, who represents the Birmingham Yardley constituency.
“A bed is a place where you sleep. A refuge is far more remarkable.
“I met a mother who had been so belittled, so de-humanised by her abuser, she could not parent her kids any more. Her 11-year-old daughter became a mother to a seven-year-old and three-year old.”
The strain on domestic violence services is such that the Government is coming under mounting pressure to ensure that adequate support is available.
The latest concerns relate to changes in the way that local authorities are funded to provide the services.
Critics are worried that the reforms will lead to councils which are already facing a significant squeeze on their finances effectively having to backfill funding.
Only recently it emerged that refuges in the Prime Minister’s own constituency of Maidenhead had no spaces, while typically there tends to be increased demand for support nationwide over the festive period.