Women Against Rape (WAR) and others are launching a petition asking the public to support women and children impoverished by the Benefit Cap after escaping violent relationships. A legal challenge on behalf of affected families will be heard in the Court of Appeal in early 2014.
Solicitor Rebekah Carrier describes the Cap as ‘catastrophic, cruel and arbitrary’, one third of women have suffered domestic violence, approximately every week two women are killed by partners or ex-partners, in England and Wales.
The Benefit Cap limits a family’s total benefit to £500 per week, including rent and Child Benefit. Extortionate rents, including for some refuges and hostels, leave mothers and children with little or no income to live on.
A test case is being fought in court on behalf of families impoverished by the Benefit Cap after escaping violence. So far, there is no exemption from the Cap for victims of violence.
Many victims of violence are unable to get a job immediately or to move to a cheaper area – they need to stay close to friends and relatives for support, and time to recover and to reassure distressed children. Continue reading