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North East refuges under threat

Results from a recent NEEVAWG Network survey shows more than 76% of the refuge bed spaces in the North East are under threat from the latest round of Government cuts. NEEVAWG asked North East refuge providers about the likely impact of the Governments proposals to cap housing benefit for supported accomodation. The survey results show the sector would be decimated with a number of refuges forced to close entirely.

Women's Aid warns of refuge closures in England and Wales

Startling new statistics from a national survey by Women’s Aid England and Women’s Aid Wales show that 67% of specialist domestic abuse refuges in England will be forced to close if they are not exempted from the Government’s plans to cap housing benefit. 87% of refuges in England would not be able to continue with their current level of provision. In Wales, 69% of refuges will be forced to close, and 100% would not be able to continue with their current level of provision.

CPS prosecuting and convicting record numbers of VAWG crimes

The CPS's annual Violence against Women and Girls report shows that rape, domestic abuse and sexual offences now account for 18.6 per cent of the CPS's total caseload and this figure has been increasing year-on-year. In 2015/16, the CPS prosecuted 117,568 defendants for all crimes grouped together as Violence against Women and Girls. More than 100,000 defendants were prosecuted for domestic abuse, with over 75,000 convicted - the highest volumes ever recorded, also reaching the highest ever conviction rate of 75.4 per cent by March 2016.

Sexual harassment of students by university staff hidden by non-disclosure agreements

Harassment of students is widespread but remains invisible, partly because of confidentiality clauses, say campaigners including Ruth Lewis - coordinator of the Universities Against Gender Based Violence network and senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Northumbria. An article in the Guardian outlines concerns  that universities’ use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in sexual harassment cases involving staff and students is allowing alleged perpetrators to move to other institutions where they could offend again.

Government's report on homelessness calls for better provision for victims of domestic abuse

The Government's Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee has published a report on homelessness. The conclusions and recommendations section includes the following: Women who have been victims of domestic violence are particularly at risk of becoming homeless, and there is currently insufficient support to help them escape homelessness. We therefore call on Government to ensure that sufficient resources are available to meet the very real need.

Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism visits Middlesbrough

Sarah Newton MP was appointed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Extremism at the Home Office in July this year. Sarah visited Middlesbrough's My Sisters Place, meeting staff, service users and other partners. She was particularly interested in hearing about the impact of post separation child contact arrangements and the interface between the Troubled Families initiative and specialist DV providers.

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