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Benefit cap trapping women in violent relationships

Domestic violence charity Women’s Aid is urging the Government to act in light of evidence released from the London borough of Haringey, revealing that women are staying in abusive relationships because of the benefit cap.

According to Women's Aid, the council reports knowing of "several" cases of women choosing to stay with violent but employed partners, believing that if they took their children and left him they would be subject to the cap and unable to afford the support themselves and their children. The charity had previously warned the Government that the benefits cap would have this effect if implemented without consideration for survivors of domestic violence.

Women’s Aid is highlighting that many perpetrators will use a woman’s fear of not being able to cope financially as a tool to control her further and prevent her leaving. The charity is calling on the Government to ensure that any new arrangements in welfare reform cannot be used as a weapon by domestic abusers, by making it harder for women to leave safely.

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