One of our 2022 manifesto promises was to work with Black Country Women’s Aid supporting women at risk of, or affected by domestic abuse. International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate women’s rights and the achievements by women throughout history and across nations, but it’s also a day to reflect on the state of gender equality and to call out the many challenges that women and girls still face. International Women’s Day’s campaign theme for 2023 is #EmbraceEquity
Sandwell Council recently awarded a five year contract worth over £2m to BCWA to deliver safe accommodation and support services for victims of domestic abuse.
Longer term funding will provide some stability and assurance to the continuation of these services which offer a safe place for survivors and their children fleeing domestic abuse. One in four women in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales. Women who experience domestic abuse are also twice as likely to experience depression and 40% of homeless women state domestic abuse as a contributory factor to their homelessness.
Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said:
“Domestic abuse is unacceptable and anyone suffering from this should know that this is not their fault and that help is available 24/7 at any time of year. We are delighted to be partnering with Black Country Women’s Aid to provide this vital service to those experiencing domestic abuse. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important that that you tell someone – you don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to find help.”
Sara Ward, CEO of BCWA, added:
“Black Country Women’s Aid is really honoured and immensely proud be the Sandwell delivery partner for domestic abuse refuge services. We look forward to this continuing partnership to improve lives for victims of violence and abuse.”