A local domestic abuse charity is warning its specialist LGBT refuge will close if the council slashes its funding.
Rise is slated to lose £129,681 a year in council funding under the current budget proposals – 12% of its total annual budget.
It says losing this money means not only will its LGBT Refuge have to close, but its wellbeing in-reach service at Brighton Women’s Refuge will also have to go.
In 2023, 41 survivors got help through RISE LGBT Dispersed Refuge service of whom 12 (29%) said they are transgender and 41% had more than one disability. In the same year, 21 adults and 31 children were helped through therapeutic support by Rise’s in-reach team.
Rise CEO Jo Gough said: “Rise recognises the significant financial pressure the council is under. We know that tough decisions must be made in setting the 24/25 budget but are deeply concerned about the disproportionate impact on women, children and LGBT survivors of abuse and violence.
“It could mean people have to stay in dangerous situations where there is a risk to life as well as there being a knock-on effect to other stretch services in Brighton and Hove.”
One LGBT survivor said: “It helps me to be embracing hope.” Another said: “I wouldn’t have survived without help from Rise.”
Both projects are funded to fulfil the council’s duty under new domestic abuse laws with ring-fenced government funding confirmed until March 2025 – but Rise’s funding is set for end of September 2024.
The budget will be finalised at a council Meeting on Thursday, 22 February. Rise is asking people to email their local councillors and come to the meeting with placards to show support.