Cambridge college housed women fleeing domestic abuse after lockdown led to a lack of refuge places

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A University of Cambridge college has been providing support for women and children fleeing domestic abuse during lockdown.

St Catharine's College has been working with Cambridge Women's Aid to offer empty student accommodation as safe spaces after it was revealed the pandemic had lead to a shortage of refuge places.

Cambridge Women's Aid said there's been a 40 per cent drop in the number of available refuge places for women and children since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

In total 23 women and children spent nearly 1500 nights at the college.

Back in April at the height of lockdown a survey of women who had suffered domestic abuse revealed nearly 80 percent couldn't access housing or a refuge, nearly 70 percent had nowhere to turn to and more than sixty percent said the abuse they were suffering was getting worse.