Thousands of women and girls across the UK are being failed by the system and consigned to a life of poverty, violence and inequality. They are often deeply traumatised and face multiple problems like poor mental health, addiction and homelessness.
Without proper support, they can move from one crisis to the next at a great cost to themselves, their families and society as a whole.
But there is not enough support for women and girls at risk – many good women-only services struggle for funding and are under threat while many mixed services fail to respond to the specific issues women face.
We want the new government to take action to ensure women and girls get the support and protection they need. Investing in services specifically for women must be a priority – but all services women use should be taking women’s needs into account.
We are calling for:
- Political leadership and a cross-government approach to addressing the complex needs of multiply disadvantaged women which considers how policies and services including around abuse, mental health, addiction and homelessness impact on this group.
- Properly funded and commissioned services for women facing multiple disadvantage, including a network of women’s centres across the country. This should be supported by the creation of a central funding pot drawn from different budgets as well as better gender specific commissioning at a local level.
- Women and girls’ needs taken into account in mental health services including:
- A national women’s mental health strategy and every mental health trust having their own local strategy and a clinical lead for women’s mental health
- Mental health services taking a trauma informed approach and frontline NHS workers being trained to understand that women’s mental health, trauma and abuse are closely linked.