In December 2017, The Sun on Sunday launched a Christmas campaign to help the victims of domestic violence. Highlighting the fact that two women a week in England die as a result of domestic abuse, the news brand pledged to take on the government, which was planning to scrap funding for life-saving refuges.
The Save Our Shelters appeal online called for readers to join The Sun on Sunday’s petition to stop the government’s de-funding proposals, which would result in the closure of nearly half of the refuges in England. The online appeal received the backing of Women’s Aid CEO Katie Ghose and actress and Women’s Aid patron Dame Julie Walters.
By August 2018, following pressure from The Sun on Sunday, MPs and other campaigners, the government was forced into a U-turn and backed down from the changes. If the plans had gone ahead, it would have meant that women and children fleeing violence could no longer pay for refuge accommodation with housing benefits — which makes up 53% of refuges’ funding. Women’s Aid said the reforms would have led to 39% of the 270 refuges in England closing.
More refuge doors will be able to stay open to help women and children living with domestic abuse. I am proud to have supported the Save Our Shelter campaign with The Sun on Sunday, as this decision will save lives.Actress and Women’s Aid patron, Dame Julie Walters