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5 February 2020

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Refuges turn away 64% of women - set no-cuts budgets now!

Womens Lives Matter campaigners fighting for domestic violence services, photo Iain Dalton

Womens Lives Matter campaigners fighting for domestic violence services, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Jane Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party

One of the most thorough reports about support services for people seeking to escape domestic abuse, researched by Women's Aid and released om 28 January, confirmed that 64% of those who seek shelter in a refuge are turned away due to lack of funding.

The Council of Europe, a human rights organisation covering 47 European states, highlights that the number of refuge bed spaces in England is now 30% below the number recommended.

For an increasing number of women, it's even worse, where there is no access to refuge provision at all. Many domestic violence services are run on a shoestring by volunteers and funding gets tighter every year.

It's not just the lack of refuge spaces that is the problem, it's also the lack of affordable social housing. Only 37,825 new homes built in England were let at discounted rents last year, despite a waiting list of 1.1 million.

For many fleeing abusive relationships, their choices are bleak. Either return to homes and the perpetrator they're trying to leave, or face poor, unregulated, private rented accommodation - or even worse, homelessness.

More deaths

This is outrageous. And bluntly, what it means is that more women will die as a result of a violent partner, or face an earlier death due to living on the streets. I've been shocked talking to homeless women on the streets in Coventry as to how many of them talk about domestic violence as the reason they are forced into that situation.

There are two other factors highlighted in the Women's Aid report. Firstly, cuts to mental health services, for those with more complex needs, mean that women do not get the right support quickly enough. And secondly, the number of families who have "no recourse to public funds" because of their immigration status.

Universal Credit works against those fleeing a violent relationship. With long waits to get benefits paid, many are forced stay in refuges longer than they need to.

With the re-election of the Tories, the fight against cuts is even more vital. Labour councils must lead the fight for the resources our local communities need, instead of presiding over the rationing of an ever-reducing budget. We say, spend the reserves, demand the stolen millions back, and organise the fight!

And to build a society that guarantees the needs of all and faces up to the challenge of ending the fear of domestic violence, thoroughly and permanently, we must fight for socialism. The Socialist Party demands:

Read and sign the pledge not to cut domestic violence services at socialistparty.org.uk, 'Cuts to women's services cost lives'

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 5 February 2020:


News

6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

Labour leadership contest and public ownership

Coronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

Record dissatisfaction with democracy: capitalism's dead end

Refuges turn away 64% of women - set no-cuts budgets now!

Grenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

Them & Us


Rail

Nationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Expensive, overcrowded and unreliable: Renationalise the railways!

Cancel the franchise, not our trains

Will the North get investment and transport infrastructure?


What we think

'Post-Brexit' era of crisis ahead


Workplace news

Huge victory for Bromley library workers after 241 days on indefinite strike!

14 more days of university strikes over pensions, pay and conditions

500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Newham council tax workers' pay victory

No to academisation of east London schools!

Ealing tax office workers strike against closure


NHS

Outrageous waiting times will put lives at risk

NHS: Save stroke beds in Coventry and Warwickshire


International

Syria: Assad regime consolidates power after brutal counterrevolution

Israel/Palestine: Trump 'peace plan' promises further conflict


Campaigns

Socialist Party calls anti-austerity protest on Budget Day

Sadiq Khan "out-Tories" himself to defend tech firms' tax bonanza

Socialist Sellers

Reading Labour council: Stop privatising our leisure services

The rich fund the Tories and Blairites, so help fund the working-class fightback

Support the working-class press in 2020

Defend and fight for warm, safe housing for Samira and everyone

Alternative Burns Night success


Readers' opinion

Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Domestic violence:

triangleDomestic Abuse Bill: So much still to fight for

triangleJustice for victims of gender violence

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleEngels on the origins of women's oppression

triangle20 days. One town. Four domestic violence murders.

Women:

triangleWomen's health matters

triangleUS right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built

triangleTV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

triangleNew law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party to the fore at Unison LG conference

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can a party for the working class be built?

triangleLondon workers prepare to fight Khan's transport cuts

Council:

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

triangleEnfield byelection: We need councillors prepared to resist

Article dated 5 February 2020

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RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

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