There are genuine fears that more women will become repeat victims of domestic abuse – and that some may even die – if county council funding changes lead to the closure of women’s refuges in Northamptonshire.
The fears have been expressed after Northamptonshire County Council proposed putting the contracts for several of the services offered by the refuges out to tender.
We all know that the county council faces incredibly tough financial decisions, but those currently running support services and offering 68 residential spaces for abused women and children are incredibly worried.
So much so that they have joined with former MP Sally Keeble to fight for the services.
The campaigners say that regardless of the result of the tendering process, there is simply not enough money being made available to offer the necessary support.
Much great work has been done in Northamptonshire to offer extensive domestic violence support services in the county, which are considered to be some of the best in the country.
We sincerely hope that Ann Bodsworth, the chief executive of Northampton Women’s Aid, is wrong when she says that the changes will lead to more domestic abuse and possible death in the county.
This would be a heavy price to pay for saving a relatively small amount of money.
Neil Pickford, Editor