Emergency grants are desperately needed to help people escape abusive partners during the cost of living crisis.
That's why I’ve joined with women’s charities to call for Government action to help women escape nightmare situations.
Emergency funding would be a lifeline to trapped survivors of domestic abuse across the North East.
Figures released by Women’s Aid last week revealed the devastating impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on those wishing to flee abusive relationships, yet fear they lack the finances to do so.
Earlier this year the North-East overtook London as the UK’s child poverty hotspot, with two in five children living below the poverty line. As a region with the highest levels of poverty, I believe there could be many more victims trapped in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to leave, and especially if the perpetrator controls the family finances and restricts what resources their victim has access to.
Women’s Aid findings show almost all survivors (96%) had seen a negative impact on the amount of money available to them as a result of cost-of-living increases. Almost three quarters (73%) said the cost-of-living crisis had either prevented them from leaving or made it harder for them to leave. They are, therefore, calling on Government for an Emergency Support Fund to help offset the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
Right now domestic abuse victims wishing to escape their abuser are being failed. Rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis is making life harder for everyone, but for those living with domestic abuse every single day, the impact and consequences don’t bear thinking about, but we must and we must find solutions for these survivors.
With economic abuse, perpetrators control a victim’s access to finances and the things money can buy such as a phone, food, clothes, fuel, heating and so on. Perpetrators may use the cost-of-living crisis as an excuse to further tighten the economic abuse of their victims.
These survivors have suffered enough, poverty shouldn’t be another obstacle in their way, surely Government can’t choose to ignore the needs of people who could be in real danger any longer?
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can report an incident by ringing 101 or visiting www.northumbria.pnn.police.uk. Also, in a non-emergency situation you can text 07786 200814. In an emergency, always call 999. For free, confidential support and advice you can call the Northumbria Victims and Witnesses Service on 08000113116. For more information on Surviving Economic Abuse, click here.