PRESS RELEASE [PHOTOS]: Sisters Uncut picket City Hall to demand Sadiq save London’s disappearing domestic violence services
Monday, May 9, 2016
Sisters Uncut picket City Hall to demand Sadiq save London’s disappearing domestic violence services
- Over 100 women stage a “die in” and lay flowers outside City Hall on Sadiq Khan’s first day in office.
- After eight damaging years under Boris, activists and domestic violence workers ask what the capital’s first feminist mayor will do to save London’s domestic violence services.
- Sisters Uncut are a feminist direct action group protesting cuts to domestic violence services
- The group are infamous for disruptive protest tactics: already having stormed the ‘Suffragette’ film premiere, dyed the Trafalgar Square fountains blood red and barricaded the entrance to the Treasury
Twitter: @SistersUncut / #TheyCutWeBleed /
TODAY at 5pm, as City Hall workers left the building, they were met with feminists reading the names of the many women of London murdered by violent partners since 2013. Two minutes’ silence was held.
The direct action group Sisters Uncut staged a “die in” and laid flowers blockading the entrance to City Hall. They demand new mayor, Sadiq Khan, a feminist with the biggest personal mandate in UK history, take action. Domestic violence support workers from across London shared their experiences.
After six year of Tories in City Hall and Westminster, London services are failing women. Refuges in London are being forced to turn away 2 in 3 women fleeing violent partners. This is twice the UK average.
Sisters Uncut ask what Sadiq Khan will do to save London’s domestic violence services, and be the proud feminist in City Hall he has promised to be.
According to the Women’s Aid London Grants Monitoring Report 2013-15:
- 3000 women were turned away in an 18 month period (Oct 13- Apr 15)
- 4 in 5 women with substance misuse support needs cannot access help.
- Migrant women find it hardest to access safety: only 20 of 262 refuge referrals for people with no recourse to public funds were successful.
- Women with mental health support needs have a worse chance of accessing safety than women without.
Services and refuges have been forced to close, or run a severely limited service. If the scale and pace of the cuts continues, more vulnerable women in London will be left without life-saving support. More women risk death at the hands of violent partners or ex-partners.
Domestic violence support services are a lifeline for women fleeing abusive partners. Women’s Aid research shows that women with substance misuse needs, women without recourse to public funds and women with mental health support needs are being turned back to abusive partners at an even higher rate.
Sisters Uncut demand that London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, who has committed to protecting domestic violence services, intervene immediately to secure funding for services in the capital. They group awaits his response and plan for action.
No arrests were made.
Selena Lowe, a domestic violence support worker, says: “It’s heartbreaking when even one woman has finally pulled together the huge courage to leave, but there’s nowhere safe for her to go. The fact this is now happening to thousands of women in London is devastating”
Grace Evans, a Sisters Uncut activist, says: “The last Mayor of London failed domestic violence survivors on a mass scale. Sadiq Khan has a real chance to make women safer in our capital.”