Survivors of domestic abuse and their children are sleeping rough as local authorities fail to find them safe accommodation, according to a new report from charity Women’s Aid.
The survey found some of the most vulnerable women the domestic abuse charity supported between January 2017 and 2018 were unable to immediately access a refuge.
Of the 264 women supported by the No Woman Turned Away project, 12 per cent were forced to sleep rough before making contact, including pregnant women and women with children.
The project helps women with additional complex needs who are unable to secure a safe refuge place through calling the national domestic violence helpline.
One in ten women were told they had made themselves intentionally homeless
It found that almost half of the women surveyed were forced to sofa-surf while waiting for a refuge spot. Eight per cent gave up the search and unfortunately had to return to the abuser.
And with plans in place to remove refuges and other forms of short-term supported housing from welfare systems, concerns have been raised by the charity about the potential for more women to end up sleeping rough.