In a week when an Oasis Facebook post saw several women share their issues with public sector responses to their domestic abuse, this article was published by The Guardian. Oasis CEO Deborah Cartwright-Crossley sheds a light on the resourcing challenges the sector faces…
In all of our 25 years of providing support to vulnerable families we have never had so much determination and commitment in the public sector as we have today, but it is now struggling against significant resourcing issues.
It is not struggling because individuals are not concerned and committed but because resources are stretched to the point where the intense collaboration and shared learning that is needed to address this issue becomes de-prioritised.
In the aritcle Davinia says, “Well, did you think austerity was going to have no consequences? If anything, I’m surprised it has taken this long for the numbers (of women being killed in domestic incidents) to go up. Women are calling the police and they are not turning up. Or abusers are breaching bail and not being arrested. Legal aid has been cut.''
And this is the nub - it isn't that the system and processes aren't there, although we still have many improvements to make, it is that the resources are suffering so greatly at the hands of austerity. Our organisation has been fortunate enough to work with a police and social service that genuinely wants to do the best it can, but it is struck by a tension of how much it can afford to do. A tension that has to be addressed centrally for the benefit of all of the U.K.'s communities.
Irrespective of your situation and your concerns about being heard it is important to seek support. Your local One Stop Shop is staffed by people who will listen to you confidentially and aim to help you with your needs. For your local OSS access this website and click on your local district on the map: www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk