The UK Government published their spring budget on the 15th of March 2023. Whilst the budget recognises to some degree the current socio-economic crisis and its impact on those who are vulnerable; there has been a lack of acknowledgment of the difficulty this places survivors and specialist services, as it disproportionally affects women and girls who are survivors of VAWDASV. The budget mentions over £100 million of support for local charities and community organisations, however we are disappointed by the lack of concrete designated funding to tackle VAWDASV. As echoed in our response to the Welsh Government Budget, the VAWDASV sector is strained under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, years of austerity and an increasing cost-of-living crisis. Demand on specialist services continues to be high and the difficulties with recruitment and retention are persisting and likely to worsen.
Without concrete, dedicated, sustainable funding for the VAWDASV sector, we are significantly concerned that the UK Government has chosen not to prioritise the epidemic of violence against women and girls in England and Wales. Violence against women and girls is everybody’s business. There must be a long-term sustainable commitment to VAWDASV to ensure all survivors have access to specialist support and ‘by and for’ provision when required.