Sunday 6 June 2021

Domestic abuse survivors demand answers over lack of Government funding and ask: 'Why are there more dog and cat homes than refuges for victims?'

The survivors of domestic abuse in the UK are complaining that there is more money being put into cat and dog shelters than into refuges for women who are the victims of domestic violence. Why is this?

The title to this article is a headline on The Yorkshire Post online newspaper. I will assume that it is true that there are more cat and dog shelters than there are women's refuges. Women's refuges are those establishments where they can go when abused by their partner; to seek sanctuary from an abusive home while they sort things out. Cat and dog shelters are those places where unwanted cats and dogs live, hopefully temporarily, before they are adopted into a new home.

Cat shelter
Cat shelter. Photo: Pixabay.

If there are more cat and dog shelters compared to women's refuges these might be some of the reasons:

Society ranks unwanted cats and dogs who need new homes as more important in terms of support then women who temporarily want a sanctuary because of domestic abuse. That's a simplistic answer because what about funding?

A lot of cat and dog shelters are funded by the RSPCA in the UK, which is a very big and wealthy charity. Another big cat charity is Cats Protection. People give to the charity because they want to give towards the welfare of animals as they are animal lovers. These people probably prefer animals to people anyway. So, there's one reason behind the scenes why there might be more animal shelters than refuges for women.

But I guess too that women's refuges are also sometimes government funded as the title to the article implies but they might also be dependent partly on charitable donations. If the government is not pulling its weight and helping to fund these refuges it is because they have decided that there are other priorities firstly, and secondly because money is incredibly short at the moment as a result of the huge amounts of borrowed money that's been streaming into the country during the entirety of the pandemic.

So, government money is short but donations from individual citizens to charitable organisations is not quite so short. My impression is that there is quite a lot of money sloshing around the country because the government has been generous in supporting the unemployed due to the lockdowns. I'm referring to the furlough money which is costing about £35 billion per month and which will go on until September of this year. 

There is a lot of money out there because I'm seeing a lot of new cars and house prices have gone up rapidly. The government has probably been too generous which is going to cause possible inflation and the impossibility for employers to find employees because they are too comfortable receiving furlough money. Another reason is Brexit, as a lot of Eastern Europeans have gone home or have change jobs. I'm referring to the hospitality sector.

But of course, the pandemic only relates to the last 14 months. Before it started the situation regarding a lack of refuges was the same. The pandemic will cut funding though. It must come down to a lack of commitment by government but there are so many causes of equal merit. Funding is finite.

I am referring to the fact that the government must strictly prioritise funding at the moment as money is short. I've got to try and come to conclusion on this and answer the question in the title. It is probably because cat and dog shelters are reliant on private donations and people are generous in their donations towards animal welfare while refuges for women are more reliant or perhaps entirely relied upon government funding and the government has decided to be quite mean-spirited and do not prioritise the support of women abused by their partner very highly.

The better solution to protect the victims of domestic violence is to take proactive measures. Catch it early. Beef up social services. Incidentally a lot of women's refuges don't take pets which stops women moving out because they can't leave their cat or dog behind. 

Note: Sometimes women beat up men. It works both ways but the classic female victim is far more common.

Wrong? Disagree? Please comment.

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