News – Third anniversary of the Domestic Abuse Act – Women’s Aid

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Farah Nazeer, chief executive at Women’s Aid, comments:  

“The Domestic Abuse Act came into force three years ago – a significant piece of legislation that was hard-won by tireless campaigning by survivors, activists, Women’s Aid and our sister organisations tackling violence against women and girls.  

Despite the critical and unarguable importance of the Act, it contains some significant gaps, for example when it comes to ensuring vital protection for migrant survivors. We know that countless migrant women continue to suffer abuse in silence, for fear of their immigration status being disclosed to the Home Office by police and remain shut out from accessing safety and support.    

Similarly, the implementation of key reforms in the Act has been mixed. For example, the sector continues to face a funding crisis that results in a postcode lottery of support – with women and children being turned away daily at the point of need.

Despite a legal duty on councils to fund domestic abuse in safe accommodation, our research shows that around a quarter of life-saving refuge services – and less than half of those provided ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women – in England were not commissioned by their local authority in 2022-23.”

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