VAWG Sector Letter to Chancellor Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Welsh Women’s Aid, alongside sector colleagues, sent the following joint letter to Chancellor Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP setting out concerns; these concerns are felt acutely in Wales as well as England.


Ahead of the Spring Budget on 6 March, leading national organisations representing violence against women and girls (VAWG) services in England and Wales are urgently calling on the Chancellor to prioritise funding for lifesaving services and ensure they do not fall from the cliff edge they are currently facing in April 2025.

The letter sets out the multiple funding crises facing specialist services supporting women and children experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage, ‘honour-based’ abuse and other forms of VAWG – including: ongoing budget cuts and urgent local authority financial pressures; short term, insecure funding which doesn’t reflect the true cost of service delivery; inflation and the rising costs of living; and demand for support consistently exceeding capacity. Over 60% of referrals to refuges supporting women in England in 2022-23 were declined and 14,000 survivors are on the Rape Crisis waiting list.

The organisations highlight that, despite some injections of government spending for VAWG in recent years, funding has been insufficient and inaccessible to the support services that women need. A recent £8.4 million Home Office funding pot for VAWG services was poorly designed, resulting in many small women’s organisations being unable to access it altogether. The proposed ‘ring-fence’ for services ‘by and for’ minoritised groups failed to ensure resources were allocated to these organisations, and the fund failed to adequately prioritise services for female victims.

Signatories to the letter fear that services will be threadbare without urgent action from the government. A number of critical funding streams from the government are all due to end in April 2025 which, coupled with the severe impacts of current local authority budget pressures, may result in significant reductions in support in the coming year. The letter calls for:

  • The Treasury to prioritise funding for specialist VAWG services in the Budget, ending the significant gap between current spending on women experiencing violence and abuse and the unmet need for support.
  • The Treasury to guarantee a roll-over year of funding in 25-25 to provide critical security for essential VAWG services in an uncertain funding landscape.
  • The government to ring fence funding for specialist services led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women and ensure all migrant survivors can access protection and support.

VAWG Sector Letter to Chancellor Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP – March 2024