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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 May 2021

New law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Protesting against domestic abuse service closures in Brighton. Photo Brighton SP

Protesting against domestic abuse service closures in Brighton. Photo Brighton SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Atkins, Southampton Socialist Party

The Domestic Abuse Act has become law. Violence against women and girls has been on the increase during the pandemic. Between March and June 2020, police recorded 206,492 domestic abuse offences - a 9% rise on the same period in 2019.

While the act introduces some positive changes, it is silent on the many significant economic barriers that women in particular face when trying to escape an abusive partner - such as the benefit cap and two-child limit on Universal Credit, access to affordable childcare and a genuine living wage.

Women whose immigration status doesn't allow them access to public funds are still left relying on charities or forced to remain with an abusive partner. The right to paid leave for employees facing domestic abuse is also absent. The government has also refused to introduce a domestic abusers register for serial perpetrators.

Passing an act and enforcing it are entirely different. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970, but battles are still being fought over its implementation, most recently the historic strike and victory of Unison women employed by Glasgow City Council.

The trade unions will have to fight to ensure that effective domestic abuse policies are implemented by employers. We also need to take this up in the council chambers, to fight for the resources that will provide the council housing and safe refuges for the survivors of domestic abuse and their children. Otherwise, this act will be an empty promise. This is one of the reasons why we stood under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) banner in the local elections to provide a fighting socialist alternative.

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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 5 May 2021:


What we think

Capitalist sleaze and cronyism


Union elections

Unite general secretary election nomination stage

Unison: We need a fighting, democratic, member-led union to stop the austerity attacks

Four Socialist Party members elected to NEU executive - a thirst for action and a fighting leadership


International news

Biden's policies will not solve underlying US crisis

Colombia: Mass trade union-led protests force tax retreat


Mental health

Covid, capitalism and mental health


News

Fight the rotten establishment

Hands off our NHS

New law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Cladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again


Workplace news

St Mungo's strikers fight on

Goodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed

Sparks block Cardiff building site against deskilling

Vote 'yes' in the PCS DWP ballot

Beal High School strike against sick policy resumes

Go Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

Metroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'


Local government

Can the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?


Campaigns news

Bellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

Police attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

Nottingham NHS pay protest

Establishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

Plaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Defend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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