Domestic violence refuges provide vital protection to victims of this prevalent crime. Quite often children are also being provided shelter. It's therefore deeply concerning that two thirds of refuges in England are at risk of closure.

Gemma Lindfield, an international family law barrister at 5 St Andrew's Hill said" The UK has signed but not yet ratified The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention. This important treaty was crafted with the input of 42 EU member states in an effort to enhance protection and to ensure proper investigation leading to increased prosecution. The U.K. is now in breach of article 22 of the Istanbul Convention which requires the provision of refuges."

She went on to say: "Statistically a women exiting a violent relationship is 75% more likely to be killed than those that stay. Since 1997 the courts have been making non-molestation orders to protect domestic violence victims. However such an order is just one element of protection. It's shameful that the government has put these vital services so far down the agenda."

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I am a human rights, extradition and family barrister. I have written for The Times, The Guardian and The Lawyer. I have also appeared on Sky and BBC news, providing commentary on extradition, human rights, family law and Brexit.