2. Invest in specialist domestic abuse services

Domestic abuse services are a lifeline for survivors, providing holistic, specialist support on both a short- and long-term basis. However, insufficient and short-term contracts, gaps in funding for specialist support, and recruitment and retention challenges exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis mean that service provision is inconsistent across the country.

This is set against a backdrop of historical and chronic underfunding and increasing numbers of local authorities declaring bankruptcy. Survivors face a postcode lottery in accessing support. Refuge’s Local Lifelines Report found that 85% of frontline workers said their service is impacted by insufficient funding1. Without urgent funding uplifts, many services are at breaking point.

To ensure survivors can access the specialist support they need, adequate funding for domestic abuse services is desperately needed2.

Without the support, I wouldn’t feel like there was a possibility of being free.


We are calling on political parties to commit to:

Sustainably fund specialist domestic abuse services by:

  • Providing at least £238 million per year for essential community-based services, which provide support to survivors in the community.
  • Providing at least £189 million per year for refuge services, which offer survivors safe temporary accommodation.
  • Establishing a separate national ‘by-and-for’ funding pot, which would provide long overdue investment in specialist services that support minoritised survivors, including disabled survivors, LGBTQ+, Black and minoritised women, and those with no recourse to public funds, who typically face additional barriers in accessing support.


  1. Domestic abuse services in the community under pressure from lack of funding (refuge.org.uk)
  2. Domestic Abuse Commissioner (2023) A patchwork of provision