It seems that every time I switch on the news the government is throwing yet more money onto our country’s problems and even the domestic abuse sector – which has traditionally struggled for funding – has seen huge new financial support commitments.
This is great, but we must not forget that after this crisis is over there will be millions out of work together with a colossal financial deficit that will have to be managed somehow or other, possibly via an unpleasant mix of higher taxation and austerity.
That will bring financial hardship to many families and this has always been a key ingredient in the cauldron of causation for domestic abuse and violence. We are in the midst of a serious eruption of domestic violence right now.
Support agencies will need even more funding, victims who have not already fled their homes because they are being controlled during lockdown may now have the chance to leave, but where to? Refuges are an essential part of the recovery process and will need specific funds earmarked for their continued operation and survival.
I have spoken before about converting office space into refuge centers and, as companies cut back on their office requirements, a lot of empty office space may become available. If some landlords could put on a socially responsible hat and charge an affordable rent, then these spaces might become financially viable for cash-strapped organisations to convert into centres offering a fresh start for victims.
It just takes one major landlord to take the initiative with one of their buildings to get this off the ground.
Clearly there are numerous security, safety, public liability, staffing and other important issues to consider but, looking at the bigger picture, all these problems can all be tackled if the building and the will are there.
Now is the time to act.
A blog by Mark Groves CEO NCDV