Huge rise in women seeking support

The number of women using domestic violence services has risen by 60 per cent over the past three years, a new report claims.

Nearly 200,000 women used refuge, advocacy or outreach services in 2004-5, up from 122,000 in 2002-3, the Women’s Aid survey reveals.

And nearly 130,000 children used domestic violence services last year, up 47 per cent since 2002-3.

A survey of refuge residents found 11 per cent had been required by court contact orders to allow unsupervised contact with a violent  former partner.

Emma Williamson, Women’s Aid’s domestic violence information manager, said more women were coming forward because there were more outreach and advocacy services.

But she added that they were inadequately funded by government, leaving local groups to support them.

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