November has been an exciting month for Safespots, as the Scrap The Fee Campaign reached the House of Lords. The campaign, started in 2016 by the Safespots Women aims to outlaw GP’s charging domestic violence victims up to £150 for legal aid referral letters. Scrap the fee has now been discussed by Lord Kennedy and has won the backing of Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy. We are now hearing some GP’s voluntarily rewriting their charging policies as a result.
Sarah Judge said
” In 2016 when Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party visited Safespots, our women told him about the injustice of having to pay such a large amount just to prove they had experienced abuse and to get the legal help they need. We have worked with Tom ever since and are so grateful for the way he has pushed this campaign to the highest levels of Government, but most of all, so proud that women from right here in Wythenshawe stood up, made their voices heard and are now changing the lives of tens of thousands of women across the Country.”
Women can now ask for evidence from a range of services including:
- Domestic abuse support services such as Safespots
- The courts
- The police
- A multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)
- Health professionals including a GP, Midwife, psycologist or health visitor
- A refuge manager
- Your bank, e.g credit card accounts, loan documents and statements showing financial control
- Your employer or education provider
- The provider of any benefits received
Please get in touch with Safespots if you would like more information about how you can get help with legal support and legal aid and for more information on supporting the campaign.