Financial support to help women and children.
Women experiencing domestic abuse will be able to receive up to £1,000 from a new pilot fund to pay for the essentials they need when leaving a relationship with an abusive partner.
The £500,000 Fund to Leave will be delivered by Women’s Aid groups in the five local authority areas with the most women’s homelessness applications due to domestic abuse.
In 2022-23 almost a quarter of all homelessness presentations by women and their children were due to a violent or abusive dispute in their household.
First Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“Both tackling homelessness and ending violence against women and girls are key priorities for the Scottish Government. People should feel safe in their own homes but, sadly, too often this is not the case.
“Leaving a relationship with an abusive partner is dangerous and difficult, and financial dependence on the abuser is often the biggest barrier. The Fund to Leave will help to reduce the financial burden of leaving an abusive partner by helping to pay for the essentials that women and children need, including rent and clothing.
“This is just one of the ways in which we can work towards a Scotland where women and girls live free from violence and abuse in their homes.”
Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid Marsha Scott said:
“Survivors have told us for decades that the biggest problems they face in extricating themselves from abusers is the danger of retaliation, their lack of financial independence and the fear of destitution.
“Whether survivors and their children can stay in their homes or need or want to move to other accommodation, paying the rent and putting food on the table are still a struggle.
“After years of advocating for speedy, accessible, and practical help for leaving, we are utterly delighted to welcome this fund and to help with getting it out to those who need it as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Chief Executive of Fife Women’s Aid Kate McCormack said:
“Fife Women’s Aid are delighted to be part of this important and helpful initiative. Domestic abuse is a significant cause of homelessness among women and children in Fife. Financial insecurity is one of the barriers to escaping abuse so this fund is very welcome.”
Grants will be available as part of a pilot until 31 March 2024.
Financial support to support women to leave an abusive partner was one of 27 recommendations in the Improving Housing Outcomes for Women and Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse in the social rented sector report. In December 2020, the Scottish Government accepted all 27 recommendations in principle.
The five local authorities with the highest presentations of homelessness applications by women due to domestic abuse are:
Homelessness presentation cases
Grants will be delivered by Fife Women’s Aid and the following nine Scottish Women’s Aid affiliated groups:
- Glasgow Women’s Aid
- Glasgow East Women’s Aid
- Hemet Gryffe Women’s Aid
- Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire
- Edinburgh Women’s Aid
- Shakti Women’s Aid
- North Lanarkshire Women’s Aid
- Monklands Women’s Aid
- Motherwell District Women’s Aid
Women can apply to the Fund to Leave by contacting a participating Women’s Aid group directly, or contacting Scottish Women’s Aid.
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