DCSIMG

Women’s refuges are under threat as attacks hit new high

UNDER ATTACK: Serious domestic violence cases in the county rose by 81 per cent in the year to March.

UNDER ATTACK: Serious domestic violence cases in the county rose by 81 per cent in the year to March.

Refuges used by South Holland women hurt in violence in the home are under threat as cases hit an all-time high.

Boston Women’s Aid – which runs services in Spalding and Holbeach – has two safe houses catering for eight women and their children, but these face the axe at the end of March unless cash can be found to run them.

The news comes as the number of serious or life-threatening domestic violence cases in Lincolnshire hit a huge spike, leaping in 12 months by 81 per cent from 403 to 730 for the year ending in March.

Lincolnshire Police has had 5,000 complaints of domestic abuse in six months and council leaders say the recession is partly to blame.

Sutton Bridge county councillor Chris Brewis describes the massive number of cases as “a tsunami” and says people are being pushed over the edge because money is so tight and tempers are frayed.

Speaking at the county’s communities scrutiny committee, Coun Brewis said: “People are struggling to get food on the table and that means the fuse is a lot shorter.”

Lynn Mitchell, manager of Boston Women’s Aid, says the picture will worsen when the benefits system changes in April and money is tighter still.

Boston Women’s Aid has lost a county council contract to run its two refuges and it has gone instead to a housing association which can take only three families. The group is trying to source alternative funds – and has applied to the Lottery.

 

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