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Court ruling on benefit cap and domestic violence criticised

Women’s Aid has condemned a decision by the High Court that survivors of domestic violence will still be affected by the benefit cap, which threatens to make many vulnerable women homeless or trap them in violent relationships.

The charity supported a challenge to the law on behalf of women experiencing domestic violence, as the cap has a disproportionate negative effect on such women.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said:

“We are gravely disappointed to see that the court has not recognised the appalling burden the benefit cap places on too many vulnerable women. The benefit cap may make refuge spaces even scarcer as services cannot afford to support women whose housing benefit is capped below the cost of their place.

“No woman should be forced to choose between homelessness and domestic violence, but this decision will present many women with that choice. We urge the government to act swiftly to fulfil its earlier promise to make refuges exempt from the benefit cap, and to ensure there is enough emergency funding available to women fleeing domestic violence.”

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