Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/916/23543
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 September 2016
Benefit cap could shut 67% of women's refuges
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.
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.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
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
The Socialist 14 September 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook