The latest government stunt, formally known as the bedroom tax has lead a victim of domestic violence to come to terms with losing her council home in East Midlands. She has been residing in the three-bedroom property for 25 years with her son, her case is being supported by Women’s Aid charity. The ex-partner has been threatening to kill her and has lead the woman to take security measures to the max in her garden, windows and front door.
After being told by the council officials that she would be charged for the spare bedroom, lawyers have argued against this, they are not taking individual cases into consideration. The benefit cap and the bedroom tax will affect many that are in ‘Julia’s’ position. The government needs to review their exemptions to make exceptions for some, such as Julia.
The amount she receives would not be able to cover the extra bedroom; which is for her eldest daughter when she comes to stay to look after Julia who falls quite often. The government is failing to realise not everyone is the same, this is about the security and providing the best quality of life, and the government cuts seems to be disrupting not only the sanity of someone vulnerable but making them exceed what they can’t already afford. If the change takes place, Julia’s life and perhaps other’s level of security would decrease, thus putting them more in harm’s way. If she can get the government on her side, she will be the stepping stone for those who are suffering relentlessly and this is not a burden that needs to be left to be dealt with when already in state of vulnerability.
It seems the council is being harsh; it would be encouraging more exposure, more danger and inflict more health risks for victims such as Julia. So why is the government taking us backwards? The victims of domestic violence would also become victims of government abuse. This is unacceptable, and hypocritical of the government, they encourage safety of DV victims yet play a hand in making their abuse easier which is undoubtedly disgusting and exploitative.
Polly Neate, chief executive at Women’s Aid, said: “It is unacceptable that someone who faces such a dangerous threat could be left so exposed by the council which is supposed to be protecting her.”
The council and the government need to do some serious thinking if they think they have this one in the bag, a lot has been missed especially providing an alternative to the cuts. In parallel to the story two women are killed every week by their partners or ex partners, to encompass the bedroom tax and benefit cap and the cuts to refuges will result many like Julia to lose their rock, the specialist services support.
“We urge the government to make victims of domestic violence, and the services that support them, exempt from the bedroom tax and benefits cap. We also strongly urge the council in this case to rethink it’s response.”
Let us be able to change the council’s current unreasonable decision for victims such as Julia.