Warning ahead of funding cut for refuges

Safe havens in Lancashire are under threat. Stock image.
Safe havens in Lancashire are under threat. Stock image.
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Withdrawing funding for women’s refuges would have a ‘devastating impact’, a Wyre Council report found.

Safe havens in Fylde and Wyre are among nine which could be forced to close because Lancashire County Council is proposing to withdraw £900,000 from the service next March.

A report by Wyre’s community safety officer, Jane Murray, revealed domestic abuse is a key issue in the area and makes up 10 per cent of all crime.

There has been a fall in the number of offences in the past three years, while the number of incidents involving children has fallen year on year.

She wrote: “Lancashire County Council has put forward proposals to remove Supporting People funding, which will have a devastating impact on victims seeking support locally.

“Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA) will lose funding for two refuges in Fylde and Wyre. In 2014/15, 18 women and their families were housed in the Fylde refuge.”

There are currently 77 refuge places available to women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Lancashire, including four units in Wyre managed by FCWA.

There is currently no specialist supported accomodation for men.

Lancashire County Council told The Gazette it is setting up a £3m annual Prevention and Early Help Fund to provide urgent support, which will include victims of domestic violence.