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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2016

Benefit cap could shut 67% of women's refuges

End violence against women!, photo Louise Whittle

End violence against women!, photo Louise Whittle   (Click to enlarge)

Emma Irving, domestic and sexual violence advocate

The new Tory benefit cap could force two thirds of refuges to close, leaving women fleeing violence with nowhere to go.

A study by domestic violence charity Women's Aid showed that on an average day, 115 women and 103 children are turned away from refuges due to lack of spaces. This is only going to increase with the Tories' new rules for benefit claimants, which restrict the amount you can receive per household.

This is particularly devastating for refuges. They rely on housing benefit payments - which sometimes account for up to 90% of their income.

This government claims to want to end violence against women and girls. But it has repeatedly chosen to devastate services with round after round of cuts.

The devastating effect of austerity on refuges is clearly shown when it comes to women with complex needs.

Survivors

I work for a small charity supporting disabled survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Recently four women have approached my service requesting help to find refuge space. Only two managed to find a space.

Furthermore, reports of domestic and sexual violence have increased by almost a tenth in the last year. This puts further strain on services which are already at breaking point due to repeated Tory and Blairite funding cuts.

Many services are barely surviving with staff increasingly laid off. My organisation just reduced its staff from four to three due to lack of funding.

The Socialist Party stands for full refuge provision, and fully funded support services for all victims of domestic and sexual violence. Reverse all cuts to benefits, jobs and services, to help prevent women staying trapped in abusive relationships. Socialist change can end the epidemic of violence against women and girls.

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In The Socialist 14 September 2016:


What we think

Labour party needs democratic structures and socialist policies


Socialist Party news and analysis

#KeepCorbyn: Fight workhouse conditions

NHS chiefs warn cuts mean rationing or charges

Fund smaller classes - not new grammars

Benefit cap could shut 67% of women's refuges

Them & Us

What We Saw


International socialist news and analysis

New 'strongman' president threatens martial law - while leaning on left parties for support

International news in brief


Socialist Party feature

Obesity crisis: government strategy offers no solution


Workplace news and analysis

Westbourne Park bus dispute continues

NSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

Library workers defeat Tory cuts

Thousands of Post Office workers to strike against job losses

Southern Rail dispute update

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party youth and students

Why you should become a socialist student!

Students and workers unite to cut rents

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Join the Socialist Party - join the fightback


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Fighting fascism with motorbike stunts

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour loses byelection but Corbyn isn't the problem

Protest against closure of vital heart unit

Socialist Party members join disability rights week of action

#KeepCorbyn


 

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Related links:

Violence against women:

triangleReclaim the Night marches condemn violence against women

triangleIn defence of socialist feminism

triangleOver one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

triangleSpain: 'We don't want to be brave, we want to be free!'

Women:

triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleGlobal opposition to victim blaming in rape trial

triangleSolidarity with Irish rape trial protests

Cuts:

triangleNorthamptonshire council crisis continues

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Housing:

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triangleThe Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

Housing benefit:

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

Domestic violence:

triangleLeeds: Women's Lives Matter national meeting

Benefits:

triangleNat West's benefit-claimant eviction policy

Austerity:

triangleFrance: mass demonstrations force president to back down

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