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Warning: The following article contains details of real-life accounts of abuse suffered by female victims of domestic abuse in the West Midlands

“It’s not my fault I was abused but it’s made to feel like it is my fault.”

“All I want is for me and my children to be safe and not feel like I am begging for support.”

The cost of living is having a devastating impact on female victims of domestic abuse, with around 100 detailed responses to our survey painting a shocking picture of a deepening crisis.

Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan launched the survey earlier this summer to gather as much evidence as possible into the impact the cost of living crisis is having on female victims of domestic abuse and support services which help them.

The results are currently being analysed before being used to help us campaign for targeted support to areas most in need.

But an early snapshot has revealed a worrying trend – that more women feel unable to leave their abusers as they are either being economically abused, or unable to get enough resources together to flee to safety.

West Midlands Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan said: “Reading the dozens of responses has reduced me to tears.

“There are so many women out there in the West Midlands who are trapped due to the cost of living crisis and I feel it is only a matter of time before a woman dies because of this.

“So many are having their finances controlled by their abuser, while many more are unable to get together enough money to flee to a refuge or somewhere else safe.

“Once we have a clear picture I plan on taking the results to the new government demanding support for these victims. I will do everything in my power to support victims.”

Other responses include: “Sometimes I don’t have cash for food for myself. My mum and the foodbank have helped but it can’t go on.”

“Sometimes I think about going back because at least he had a job.”

“I have to use a mobility device to walk most days. I can’ t even walk to a bus or run if he and when the abuse starts.”

“I am to the point I only look to obtain finances to leave. I want my car back, or a cheap anything that I can leave him and let him have everything here. I just want my own transportation to escape and get doctor care, new home, new life.”

Help and support:

Below are some of the support services to support victims, and potential perpetrators of VAWG. You can also access a full catalogue of free services here.

How to report crime

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, contact West Midlands Police on 999.

For non-emergencies you can contact the police on 101 or via Live Chat

For non-emergency incidents on public transport you can call 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016.

If you need the police but are unable to talk due to your situation you can dial 55 – find out more about silent calls.

Localised support for the West Midlands

In addition to the above links and support services; all of the local community safety partnerships have more information about local services on their websites –

Wolverhampton – Safer Wolverhampton Partnership –  01902 551214  –  [email protected]

Walsall – Safer Walsall Partnership – [email protected]

Dudley –  Dudley Safe and Sound –   [email protected]

Sandwell – Safer Sandwell Partnership – 0121 569 2200

Birmingham –  Birmingham Community Safety Partnership – Contact form

Solihull – Safer Solihull Partnership   0121 704 6851    [email protected]

Coventry – Coventry Community Safety Partnership    08085 834333  Surviving economic abuse: Surviving Economic Abuse: Transforming responses to economic abuse

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