Tag Archives: London

Joining the Sisters Uncut Valentine Day’s Revolt – Saturday 14th February

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Two Sisters of Frida joined the Sisters Uncut Valentine Day’s Revolt direct action in London on Saturday which started from Green Park Station.

Eleanor holding the Sisters of Frida banner

Eleanor holding the Sisters of Frida banner

 

We marched to Picadilly in the rain where some laid flowers in memory of women who died as a result of domestic violence. ( We were not able to go up the steps to do it.) We also kept a minute silence. The manifesto was also read out

Sisters Uncut Feministo

We are Sisters Uncut. We stand united with all self-defining women who live under the threat of domestic violence, and those who experience violence in their daily lives. We stand against the life-threatening cuts to domestic violence services.We stand against austerity.

In the UK, two women a week on average are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. The cuts make it harder for women to leave dangerous relationships and live safely. Safety is not a privilege. Access to justice cannot become a luxury. Austerity cuts are ideological but cuts to domestic violence services are fatal.

Every woman’s experience is specific to her; as intersectional feminists we understand that a woman’s individual experience of violence is affected by race, class, disability, sexuality and immigration status.

Doors are being slammed on women fleeing violence. Refuges are being shut down, legal aid has been cut, social housing is scarce and private rents are extortionate.

What’s more, local councils are selling out contracts to services who are running them on a shoestring – putting the safety of survivors at risk and deteriorating the working conditions for those who work with abused women.

To those in power, our message is this: your cuts are sexist, your cuts are dangerous, and you think that you can get away with them because you have targeted the people who you perceive as powerless.

We are those people, we are women, and we will not be silenced. We stand united and fight together, and together we will win.

 

Demands

  • No more cuts to domestic violence services
  • Restore funding that has been cut
  • Secure funding for specialist domestic violence services; this should be ring-fenced* at a national level.
  • Local Authorities to fully meet the demands of their communities, recognising that different women have different needs.
  • Guaranteed access to legal aid for women experiencing domestic violence.
  • Provide access to safe and secure social housing for women who otherwise cannot afford to flee.
  • Panic rooms should not be classified as a spare room under the Bedroom Tax.
  • Safety should not be subject to immigration status; extend access to safe housing to women with no recourse to public funds.
At Picadilly, in memoriam for women who died as a result of domestic violence

At Picadilly, in memoriam for women who died as a result of domestic violence

We took off from there to Oxford Circus where we formed a circle and stopped the traffic, blocking buses and taxis on a very busy junction and women were chanting and shouting for sisters who died from domestic violence.

Sisters stopping traffic at Oxford Circus

Sisters stopping traffic at Oxford Circus

It was good to be there. We hope to be able to join them at their meetings and invite them to our events and campaigns in the future.

 

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Million Women Rise 2012, London!

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Some of us went to the Million Women Rise march in London this year under the Sisters of Frida’s banner.

The Million Women Rise (MWR) Coalition is a diverse group of individual women and women representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector who are united by our outrage at the continued daily, hourly, minute-by-minute individual and institutionalised male violence enacted against women worldwide. We believe that every woman and child has a right to live free from violence and that ongoing violence devastates not only the lives of the individuals directly affected but also the communities of which they are part. We have come together to organise a national demonstration against violence against women.

Emma, Lorraine, Mary Jane and Eleanor

Emma, Lorraine, Mary Jane and Eleanor

We joined loads of other wonderful women, chanting, shouting, singing, drumming, feeling empowered together. We marched down to Trafalgar Sq – the theme this year was focused on the girl child and we were honoured by 13 year old Mary Jane being with us.

We also met Pauline, a friend who was also at the 2010 MWR march where Eleanor and Michelle spoke at Trafalgar Sq.

Pauline with Emma and Lorraine

Pauline with Emma and Lorraine

Eleanor and Michelle speaking at MWR 2010, things have not improved much for disabled women under this coalition government with their cuts which affect disabled and women. (transcript below*)

Happy International women’s day, sisters on 8th March this year!

 

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*Breaking the silence of Disabled Women

(Eleanor)

Fiona Pilkington caught the headlines when she killed herself and her disabled daughter by setting fire to their car – she had been unable to get help against constant abuse and intimidation from local youths but there are many, many disabled women who are abused, violated and within their own homes. We want you to hear some of those voices from a recent report on Disabled women and domestic violence.

“Oh yes, he would drag me along the floor because I couldn’t walk or get away that was how it would start, the way it always went. He’d insult me with all those names, ‘you spassy’ and so on, ‘who’d want to marry you?’

And he smashed me against the wall, shouting insults, you cripple, all that sort of thing.”

“Because I can’t feed myself and he would go out in the evenings deliberately and I wouldn’t have eaten anything for a twenty-four hour period or more. So that wouldn’t have happened to anybody that could feed themselves.”

In the evenings I’d be exhausted. And being deaf is hard work you know, you have to concentrate so much harder and it’s tiring. And he’d be furious and slap me and kick me awake. And he used to like: ‘Don’t you fall asleep on me, I want a wife, a real wife not an old woman’. And you know it was sex all the time, twice a day and he would shout at me and then hold me down and I hated it, I hated it.”

You know refuge provision is scarce, and accessible refuge provision is almost non existent and many women believed they could not be accommodated according to their needs.

Disabled women are also more vulnerable to sexual assaults in places such as care homes and by their carers. James Watts, sexually assaulted four disabled women at the care home where he worked as a mini bus driver. He was found guilty after one of his victims testified by blinking yes or no to questions from the police.

(Michelle)

Disabled women continue (even as we speak) to experience physical, mental and sexual abuse. The sad reality is, our voices continue to go unheard by those key services that are set up to assist and support women in vulnerable positions.

Sisters, in order for you to really appreciate the seriousness of our situations experienced by disabled women you must recognise and understand the barriers we experience which can worsen the problems.

For this reason it can be difficult for us to report our abuser or even challenge them especially if we are dependent on them for support. What worries us is that many disabled women are forced to continue to experience brutality and suffering from their abuser. This is a sad and worrying reality!

Also, we must not forget about the experiences of disabled women with multiple identities. For many of us we continue to experience multiple discrimination from within the disability movement, other women, community and society.

Being here today for both of us (Eleanor and myself) is about raising the voices of our disabled sisters. It is also about ensuring our recognition within this struggle for human rights. We close by saying that we all have a responsibility to ensure disabled women are recognised and respected as equals within this struggle for all of our voices to be heard – “we are women too!”.