Women's Aid response to ‘Benefit Cap: Number of Households capped to May 2017’ report

“Women’s Aid is outraged that women who have fled domestic abuse are being disproportionately affected by the benefit cap, especially those with young children. The benefit cap has a devastating effect on survivors of domestic abuse as the risk of poverty, if not able to access sufficient benefit support, can leave them trapped in an abusive relationship. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that 71% of capped households are single-parent families, of which 78% had at least one child under the age of five years and a shocking 35% had a child aged under two years – despite the High Court ruling on 22nd June 2017 that the benefit cap is unlawful and illegally discriminates against single parents with young children.

Survivors often flee domestic abuse with nothing but the clothes on their back, and to ensure their safety they often have to leave the area that they live in and as a result their job and home. This leaves them in urgent need of welfare support to help them to rebuild their lives in safety. The benefit cap is adding an additional barrier to women trying to flee an abusive relationship as they have to make the decision between their safety and the risk of being pushed into poverty by the benefit cap. The Government has made a commitment to transform the response to domestic abuse through its Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, but this is completely undermined by the impact of its welfare reforms. Women’s Aid, therefore, calls on the Government to urgently review this policy to ensure that it does not impact women and children affected by domestic abuse and immediately remove this additional financial barrier to them escaping abusive homes."

Women's Aid has a petition demanding the Government scrap the benefit cap. Sign it here. 

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