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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2016

Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it

Women march against the cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Women march against the cuts, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

After my mum's first abusive partner, we had to move. But before you are eligible for council housing you have to be living within the region of a local authority for some time. For domestic violence victims this is a dangerous rule.

Those fleeing abuse need to be able to move away from a perpetrator otherwise they are likely to remain trapped in a cycle of abuse.

Fleeing is also a time when women and children are most likely to be killed by partner or ex-partner.

Like many women with children we were not street homeless, we were put up by a family member - a single room and a single bunk bed which we had to share for six months.

This is 'hidden homelessness' and is often not acknowledged as homelessness. However, it carries many physical and psychological effects. It's hard to get into schools, you don't have your own possessions, and can't have control your life.

This is where my mum met her second abuser. He was in the army and therefore was entitled to low priced, good quality housing on the army barracks if he is married.

Looking back it is clear he took advantage of our situation.

It took us three and a half years of hell to escape. In this time, the battalion had also moved over to Northern Ireland and so physically we were cut off from support networks.

My mum had contacted a women's shelter in England but it could only offer us an emergency bed for a few days because of the financial strain on their services. I know now this strain had come from a Labour council.

At this stage my mum tried twice to end her life. We had nowhere to go and yet again we did not qualify for any social housing.

A relative kept us off the streets until we qualified for council housing.

At this point me and my sister were teenagers but they still put us in a small two bed flat, where we lived for two years with cardboard boxes for curtains and no carpets - safe but with our food being provided by the Salvation Army and mostly without heating.

We need affordable social housing, services that can offer both refuge and therapeutic outreach services to help survivors rebuild their lives. Instead we are met with complex and soulless procedures.

The call for Labour councillors to fight the cuts, or stand aside if they won't, could not be more urgent.

My family survived by lucky acts of kindness, but every week two women do not.

Disgustingly, local authorities are leaving women and children's lives to chance and they are dying at the hands of their cuts. Alternatively they are being left trapped in abuse and if they get out they are left with not much of a life at all.

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In The Socialist 30 November 2016:

Castro dies

Fight for workers' democracy in Cuba

Socialist Party news and analysis

Time to fight low pay

Hands off our NHS!

Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now

Women bear 85% of benefit cuts

Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality

Hospital admissions for malnutrition rise threefold

Them & Us: Autumn Statement special!

What We Saw

What we think

Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit

Housing crisis

The housing crisis - a toxic issue for the Tories

Homelessness - capitalism is destroying people's lives

Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it

Workplace news and analysis

London Crossrail workers walk out

Durham teaching assistants determined to win

Strike action across London and South East rail network

Protest to demand pay rise for Sheffield

Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig

The fight in Labour

Support the campaign to readmit expelled trade union militants

Conference to debate TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections

Labour Party branch votes for reselection

Southampton Labour councillors vote through more cuts

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Sheffield for sale!

Hands off HRI charts way forward

Reclaim the Night solidarity march

Repeal the 8th protest for abortion rights

Leicester playground protest

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back

The Socialist Inbox

International socialist news and analysis

Spain: militant struggle by Students Union succeeds


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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.


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts


triangleJobs and homes for all

triangleEast London resident fighting eviction again

triangleStop Pimlico gentrification


triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Defend women's right to choose

triangleWomen and the criminal 'injustice' system


triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty


triangleBook review: Shuggie Bain


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes


triangleTories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

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