The parents of murdered East Lancashire nurse Jane Clough are urging people to support an online petition urging the county council to scrap plans to slash the Supporting People budget.
The budget includes funding for Lancashire’s nine refuges, inluding Safenet in Burnley, which are a lifeline for victims of domestic abuse across the county.
Refuges provide a safe place for women and children who are at high risk of serious harm and homicide to stay while getting support to help them back into the community.
Campaigners say the cut in funding will have a huge impact in what services can be provided and means staff who help to provide these vital services will be at risk of redundancy.
John and Penny Clough’s daughter Jane was murdered by her ex-partner in 2010. They have since worked tirelessly to raise awareness of domestic abuse and say this simply cannot be allowed to happen as it plays into the hands of the perpetrator and will put lives at risk.
John Clough said: “How can it be right to take away money from domestic abuse services that help men, women and children?”
“We became aware that Lancashire County Council are withdrawing all the funding for refuges in Lancashire. Penny and I are patrons of Safenet at Burnley and we also have links with the refuge at the Fylde coast women’s aid because of Jane’s connection with Blackpool.
“We have been in touch with management teams there and we know the stress that this is putting on them as they work out how they’re going to keep on running the refuges.
As a region we are already under provided for places at women’s refuges now if we’re looking at losing all the funding that helps run these places from local government where is the money supposed to come from?
“We are appealing to Lancashire County Council to review that decision to cut off the funding refuges. There’s a lot at stake if the refuges start to close where are victims supposed to go? Are they going to be foisted on local hospitals, community services?
“How are they supposed to cope with these people? How are they supposed to support them when they aren’t trained in that area?
“The money that they spend on supporting victims will not be as cost effective as the way the refuges and their staff run it themselves as they know what they’re doing what they need”.
“It’s not just women it’s children as well who go into refuges. They need support so child social services who help counsel children who’ve witnessed or even experienced domestic abuse.
There’s a lot at stake here so we need the Lancashire County Council to re-look at this”.
“We want Lancashire County Council to reconsider their position and look at again keeping funding available for these vital services
l John and Penny Clough are urging residents to support the online petition which can be found at: www.change.org/p/lancashire-county-council-stop-funding-cuts-to-lancashire-refuges