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LETTERS: Tory cuts leave domestic violence victims no means to escape abusers

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Issue 2521
Protest in Doncaster against cuts to Womens Aid
Protest in Doncaster against cuts to Women’s Aid (Pic: Neil Terry)

The murder of Clodagh Hawe and her children by her husband Alan, and storylines in popular soaps, have put domestic violence under the media spotlight.

Theresa May’s government has been quick to point to prosecution rates against perpetrators of violence against women to create an impression it is being fairly combatted.

But the reality for so many women, men and children affected by abuse is far from fair.

Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

Cuts to services, jobs and benefits contribute to the growing and serious issue of victims forced to stay with their abusers.

Women’s Aid refuges and similar organisations are reporting funding cuts and closures.

They are forced to turn away hundreds of women and children each week, leaving victims unable to escape their abuser.

The death toll—currently two women a week—is likely to rise.

It’s vital that we support the growing campaigns demanding funding for domestic violence services. This is a fight we can win.

In Doncaster, campaigners fought hard to win £30,000 funding from the council. Although Doncaster Women’s Aid closed, the funding helped set up a new South Yorkshire Women’s Aid service in the town.

This ensured that trained specialist staff are still able to offer support, albeit on a smaller scale.

It’s imperative that we step up the fight over cuts on local and national levels. The safety of people experiencing abuse is of paramount importance.

In Doncaster we occupied spaces, protested at council meetings, engaged with Disabled People Against Cuts and built solidarity with trade unions.

The campaign was fought on the basis of class, not gender. It was led by women, former Women’s Aid service users and staff but was supported by, and engaged with, men locally.

We all demanded change and that’s why was it a success.

Jen Dunstan, Sheffield

Southern profit should fund more staff

Working as a personal assistant for a wheelchair user I have witnessed the crucial role train guards and station staff play.

Their presence is irreplaceable for ensuring disabled people can access train travel.

Those requiring travel assistance have more complex needs than able-bodied travellers.

Current staffing levels on the train network mean that using it requires an investment of time in forward planning for disabled people. Yet frequently problems will arise on the day.

The assistance of guards and station staff makes all the difference between being able to resolve these situations and an unwanted trip to the end of the line.

The £100 million profit made by Southern rail’s owner should have been used to provide more staff—instead they want to slash the service.

To support equality of travel on our trains means supporting the Southern rail strike and rail renationalisation.

Mark Dunk, South London

Let’s bust Tory fees

The Tories’ plan to raise tuition fees to £9,250 in 2017 is despicable. This will affect current and future students.

The #BursaryOrBust campaign has been fighting to save the NHS Bursary which funds healthcare students to study. I believe no students should pay fees to go to university.

Education is a right, not a privilege. That’s why #BursaryOrBust activists will be marching on the NUS and UCU unions’ United for Education demo on 19 November. Join us.

Jenny Leow, East London

More—not less protest

Former Labour prime minister Harold Wilson said the Labour Party “is a moral crusade or it is nothing”.

But the likes of leadership contender Owen Smith and his supporters who say Labour is not a party of protest have chucked the towel in and wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose.

The Tories are making it harder to register to vote and are introducing electoral boundary changes to favour themselves.

Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said David Cameron opposed council housing because it encourages tenants to vote Labour!

We really do live in the most class ridden society. We need more protest not less.

John Appleyard, Liversedge, West Yorkshire

Junior docs saved my life—I back their strike

I support the junior doctors because they saved my life. I was in hospital when the junior doctors were on strike last time and I did not feel unsafe at all.

When they’re on strike, the consultants provide emergency cover so patients aren’t in danger.

If they struck for five days of course it would have an impact. But how can you have a strike without any impact?

When the NHS is done right, it’s a fantastic thing. Junior doctors are an important part of that.

They should be paid properly and given proper breaks, otherwise it’s unsafe for patients.

The Tories are attacking junior doctors because they want to privatise the NHS. That’s why I’m supporting them—and if they strike again I’ll be on the picket line with them.

Trevor Goodfield, Sheffield

A conflict of interest?

Rock Feilding-Mellen is Kensington and Chelsea council cabinet member for housing, property and regeneration.

Yet he has set himself up as a property developer!

He is also responsible for handing over North Kensington Library to the Notting Hill Prep School.

Feilding-Mellen’s own children are down to attend this exclusive school.


Edward Daffarn, West London

A paper we can rely on

When it comes to workers’ strikes, at best the liberal media adopt a “plague on both your houses” approach.

But Socialist Worker can be relied on to take up and defend workers’ struggles.

That’s why I have donated £100 to this year’s Socialist Worker Appeal. I would encourage all readers to donate what they can.

Details at

John Curtis, Ipswich

Corbyn Undone

He doesn’t like

Doing his shirt up

Or pressing

The Button and

If he talks in

His sleep, it’s bound

To be Russian!

Lord Biro, Nottingham

Can Labour rise again?

Will the horrors we have endured since Labour’s downturn in the 1970s all be worth it if we can now emerge, phoenix-like from the wreckage?

Corbyn is talking our talk and has proven his commitment to walking our walk.

We must push to get the message out to all who would find our direction appealing.

The media will not do our job for us. In fact, we’ll need to unpick their lies as well as explain our wishes.

Ian Ballantine-Gray, on Facebook


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