Welfare cuts could lead to women staying with abusive partners

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Financial concerns are a major obstacle for women trying to leave abusive relationships, and it is feared with the benefit cap and two-child tax credit limit, many women may become trapped in these abusive relationships as they are unable to financially survive as single-parents.

This article from the Independent claims many women are returning to their ex-partners as they do not have enough money to help them cope on their own with their children. The article tells the story of “Sabrina” who fled her abusive partner and went to a refuge. Shortly afterwards she discovered she was pregnant and returned to her abuser as she knew she would not be able to access enough welfare to survive financially alone.

When Sabrina escaped her partner and fled to a refuge she and the children felt like they were on holiday. For the first time in months they were smiling and laughing – they felt the weight of fear lifted from their shoulders. However, after discovering she was pregnant Sabrina cried. Not tears of joy but tears of anxiety and fear about how she would cope financially when she left the refuge to live with the children alone. After her scan, Sabrina returned to the refuge packed up her belongings and returned to her abusive partner with the children knowing she wouldn’t be able to cope financially.

The article goes on to urge the Government to recognise the damage welfare reforms are having on women and children fleeing domestic abuse. They also call for a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill which would encompass and go beyond the criminal justice system as if women cannot escape the abuse in the first place, enhanced criminal laws will be worthless.

 

To read the full story click here.

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