It is also the end of the 16 days of action associated with UN International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women. As Manchester City Council announces a further round of cuts to the tune of £60 million, Safety4Sister calls all women and men to join our demo and send out a united message to the Coalition Government
St Peters Square, next to Cenotaph, Manchester City Centre
Bring banners, placards, whistles, pots/pans, spoons and drums.
The Coalition Government has slashed funding to vital frontline services for women and children escaping gender based violence and Manchester City Council has just announced that it has to find a further £60 million in saving. This is devastating. Some of the most vulnerable women and children are facing an uncertain future as specialist services, such as Women’s Aid refuges and Rape Crisis centres, struggle to survive. These, and many other specialist Violence Against Women services in Greater Manchester and around the UK, literally save women and children’s lives and provide excellent value for money. Services such as refuge accommodation, advocacy, advice, outreach work and emotional and group support to those experiencing domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honour based violence and other forms of gender based violence.
Further cuts to this sector will mean that women will have to rely on higher cost services such as A&E, critical homelessness and emergency services. This will end up costing the government more.
These cuts are located within the wider politically driven ‘austerity measures’ which have resulted in extensive reductions in funding to legal aid, NHS, education, welfare services and other vital public sector services. Women’s rights and safety are at risk. Women are finding it harder to get access to justice; to a safe and secure specialist refuge; to protection for their children and to essential support services. The most marginalised women are bearing the brunt of the impact as poverty and inequality intensifies. As services are being starved of resource’s, the first to be affected are those facing extra barriers in accessing support such as women from black and minority ethnic communities, women with immigration status problems and women with disabilities. The Coalition has already undermined the services and spaces hard fought for. Given that on average, 2 women per week are killed by partners or ex-partners, these resources are the safety net upon which thousands of women and children rely on.
Did you know that -
• 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes
• 1 in 5 women (aged 16-69) have experienced some form of sexual assault since aged 16 years
• Between 2010 and July 2014 the number of specialist refuge services decreased by 17%
• In one day in 2013, 155 women and their 103 children were turned away from refuges because they could not be accommodated
• 48% of 167 domestic violence services in England said that they were running services without funding. Six refuge services were being run without dedicated funding and using up their reserves to keep their services going
• Approximately 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales every year
(Women’s Aid www.womensaid.org.uk and Rape Crisis www.rapecrisis.org.uk)
LET’S BE CLEAR: SERVICES ARE ALREADY STRUGGLING
Come join the demo - PROTEST THE CUTS – PROTECT OUR SERVICES
Organised by Safety4Sisters – a campaigning group which aims to highlight issues affecting undocumented women experiencing gender based violence, challenge the injustices they experience and work towards improving services
For more information contact – Sandhya Sharma or Vicky Marsh email@example.com @safety4sisters Safety4Sisters (Northwest)