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Posted by on in Domestic Violence
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Victims of domestic violence at risk of losing support

Victims of domestic violence will struggle to receive vital unemployment benefits, as they will need to provide written evidence of their abuse from the same charities and refuges that are being cut or closed as a result of government spending cuts, warns the TUC. 

 

Domestic violence accounts for between 16-25% of violent crime in the UK, and there are 13 million incidents of physical violence or threats of violence against women every year. At the same time the government's cuts are hitting domestic violence services even more than other charities reliant on public funding.

 

The 2009 welfare act, due to be implemented by the government later this year, states that domestic violence victims claiming job seekers allowance are eligible for an automatic deferral period of 13 weeks. This means that those affected by such violence, who are predominantly women, can receive the vital financial support for around three months without being available for work or actively seeking work - the normal criteria required to qualify for the benefit.

 

The government proposes that victims of domestic violence must provide written evidence of their abuse from their doctors or relevant support organisations to receive the grace time period. The TUC is concerned that these support organisations are the same refuges, charities and shelters that are being cut back or completely closed due to reductions in government funding, leaving them under-resourced and ill-placed to take on such commitments.

 

 

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