An ITV News London special investigation has revealed local council funding for refuge centres in the capital has been slashed by nearly a third since 2010.
Freedom of Information requests to all 32 London boroughs by ITV News London have uncovered the full extent of funding cuts for centres that support the victims of domestic abuse.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has also told ITV London News that Londoners should be “good Samaritans” and inform the police if they think someone is a victim of domestic abuse.
The ITV News London figures reveal:
- Funding across London has been cut by 32% since 2010. The average spending on domestic abuse refuges has been reduced from £321,496 in 2010/11 to £195,053 in 2017/18
- The Borough of Haringey has slashed funding by 75%, from £431,000 per year in 2010, to just £109,000 in 2018. Over the same period Southwark and Lambeth have cut funding by 69% and 66% respectively
- Funding has increased in just TWO of the 32 boroughs - Hackney (up 23%) and Enfield (up 28%)
The figures come as the number of domestic murders in the capital are increasing - last year the Metropolitan Police categorised 1 in 5 homicides as domestic.
Last year 21% (28) of London’s 134 homicides were domestic related, up from 7% in 2017 (9 out of 136). A 'domestic' murder is defined by the Metropolitan Police as having been committed by 'intimate partners or family members regardless of gender of sexuality.'
In an exclusive interview, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, told ITV News London:
The Mayor also called for Londoners to inform the police if they suspect someone they know is being abused:
Sue Williams, the Metropolitan Police's lead on Domestic Violence, admitted:
When asked what would happen if funding for refuge services continues to be cut at this rate, Abigail Ampofo, Regional Director of Operations at crisis support charity Hestia, told ITV News London:
A London Councils spokesperson said:
This report forms part of an ITV News London domestic violence special which can be seen on ITV at 6.00pm on Tuesday, May 30.