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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough

photo (public domain)

photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party

How do you leave a violent partner? Well you need guts for a start, as many are attacked or even killed after leaving abusive relationships. 55% of women killed by their ex-partner in 2017 died within the first month of separation, and 87% in the first year (Femicide Census, 2018).

But for working-class women especially, it needs resources - initially somewhere to escape to, and then somewhere to call home. Money to buy clothes and furniture, as many women flee with nothing, childcare facilities, a minimum wage of 12 an hour or decent benefits without a punitive sanction system.

Many will also need counselling for themselves and their children to overcome the trauma.

The Tories have introduced a Domestic Abuse Bill which is currently having its second reading in parliament. They say that the purpose of the bill is to raise awareness and understanding of domestic abuse and its impact on victims. They claim it will provide protection for domestic abuse victims and bring perpetrators to justice, and that the bill will 'seek to strengthen the support' provided by other statutory agencies.

There are some positive aspects to the bill, including broadening the statutory government definition of domestic abuse to include economic control and coercive behaviour. But, in reality, it is a cynical attempt to appear to be doing something about domestic violence while at the same time cutting back on the very services and support that women need to escape. A paltry 34-43 million has been allocated to pay for the bill

Since 2010, councils in England, Wales and Scotland have cut nearly 7 million from refuges alone. And the situation is getting worse: an estimated 21,084 referrals to all refuges in England were refused in 2017-18 because there was insufficient funding or no space for the victim.

Yet in the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse. (1.3 million women and 695,000 men).

Councils have also slashed public services that would enable women to escape. Corbyn has promised a programme of council house building. Women's Lives Matter is fighting for resources and a reversal of the cuts. But they cannot do it alone.

Corbyn and the trade union leaders should be mobilising workers to defend public services, demand that Labour councils refuse to make cuts, and fight for a massive programme of council house building. With better provision, women would not be forced to endure domestic violence and abuse.

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In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

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Related links:

Domestic violence:

triangleInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

triangleDomestic abuse accommodation: Tories shift - but safety is more than a bed

triangleUsdaw union conference demands action on pay, jobs and the right

triangleProtests say stop cuts to save domestic violence services

triangleA socialist programme to end women's oppression

Tories:

triangleTrump and Tories are a threat to environment

triangleTories launch 'non manifesto'

triangleSixth-form college strikes: 'Sticking two fingers up at the Tories'

triangleStevenage Socialist Party: Kick out the Tories!

Women:

triangleSecret police infiltration of workers' movement exposed

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleMass union mobilisation needed to counter anti-choice group

Cuts:

triangleSurrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

triangleUnite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

Council:

triangleSocial workers lobby Hull City Council

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