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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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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 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:

triangleWeinstein found guilty

triangleInternational Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The fight against low pay

triangleViolence against women in South Africa

triangleA socialist programme to end women's oppression

Women:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

triangleSexist dismissal of women's health: NHS needs democratic control

triangle20 days. One town. Four domestic violence murders.

triangleDomestic violence murder

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

Housing:

triangleA-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!

triangleHousing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?

Housing benefit:

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

Domestic violence:

triangleShocking increase in domestic violence killings

Benefits:

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

Austerity:

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

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