Willott Urges Government to Support Cardiff's Women's Safety Unit

October 10, 2007 12:00 AM

Today, during Welsh Questions in the House of Commons, Jenny Willott MP called on the Government to provide additional funding to support the work of Cardiff's Women's Safety Unit (WSU).

The WSU deals with around 1,500 local domestic violence cases every year, and receives money from a range of sources including the Assembly, Home Office and various charity bodies. They are now facing a funding gap as some charitable funding has ended and the Home Office's 14% cut in Cardiff's Community Safety Partnership is expected to have a knock-on effect on the WSU's funding.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"The Women's Safety Unit has already cut back on some staff and been forced to take on high risk cases only. If additional funds are not found, and its full services not restored, it will be a tragedy for Cardiff.

"Domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes and Cardiff is extremely lucky to have the Women's Safety Unit which is a beacon of good practice in the UK. The unit has helped thousands of women, children, and, more recently men, deal with domestic violence.

"Since the Women's Safety Unit was founded in 2001, the number of victims of domestic violence in Cardiff who refuse to make a complaint has declined and the number of repeat domestic violence incidents has more than halved.

"While the Welsh Assembly Government has maintained its committed level of funding for the Women's Safety Unit, it has never covered all of its costs.

"The extra sources of funding that have helped top up the WSU budget are coming to an end and further funding shortages are possible as a result of the Government's decision to cut Cardiff's Community Safety Partnership funding by 14%.

"The Home Office has given small grants to the Cardiff's Women's Safety Unit in the past and the amount of money needed now is still tiny by Home Office standards. If this Labour Government truly recognises the positive effect the Women's Safety Unit has had on the city of Cardiff, it should be there to provide the support that is needed now."

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