More than 10,000 women escaping domestic abuse were reportedly refused safe housing in England last year, prompting warnings many could be left homeless or driven back to dangerous partners.
Official figures show almost 8,000 households referred to a safe accommodation service did not receive support because there was no capacity, according to the Observer. A further 3,000 were denied places because the shelter could not meet the household’s needs.
A government spokesperson said the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 placed a duty upon councils to provide safe accommodation and the specific needs of each victim must be considered. Since April 2021 the sum £507m has been spent or committed to ensure safe accommodation spaces.
The Observer obtained the statistics from the first annual progress report of the Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation National Expert Steering Group.