Response to the Department of Work & Pension’s Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families report:
Director of Agenda, Katharine Sacks-Jones, said: “We are disappointed that the Improving Lives report has failed to acknowledge the influence violence and abuse can have on the multiple disadvantage of families.
“For women, many of their complex needs like poor mental health, substance misuse and homelessness often stem from their experiences of abuse and violence.
“Focusing on ‘parental conflict’ rather than abuse shows a lack of understanding of patterns of domestic violence and could also see ‘parental conflict’ disguising abuse.
“On the one hand, the government is doing positive work recognising and supporting women and girls who have experienced violence.
“Yet on the other hand, policy is being developed which fails to acknowledge its impact and risks taking a backward step.
“If we are to help women and children in families where there are multiple layers of disadvantage then we need to acknowledge – and tackle – the reality of violence and abuse.”