The Westminster government is to give people leaving abusive relationships £250 to help them re-establish their lives. The one-off payment will double to £500 if they have children.
With a £300,000 funding pot, the trial scheme is being run with help from Women’s Aid given its national reach, expertise and existing infrastructure, the Home Office said.
The new support follows Women’s Aid research finding that almost three-quarters of women living with their abuser are finding it harder to leave as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. Two-thirds of survivors also said abusers are using the higher cost of living as a tool for coercive control, including to justify further restricting their access to money.
Women’s Aid chief executive Farah Nazeer said: “The pilot of a fund is an excellent start in supporting survivors who desperately need emergency funds to leave their abuser, and an important breakthrough moment. This fund really could be the difference between life and death for the most vulnerable.”
To obtain the payment, a survivor has to be referred by a frontline worker after they have determined the survivor’s eligibility based on specific criteria. It is envisaged the money will help pay for essentials such as groceries, nappies and sanitary products; rent on a previous property; or be put towards a deposit on new accommodation.