Many thanks to @mistrijah and Village Way (East Dulwich) for arranging the haircut and making it a painless (and even pleasurable) experience.
Maybe next time I WILL go bald.
Refuge, the single largest provider of safe havens and support to survivors of domestic abuse is facing closure due to a 50% cut in funding. Local authorities have slashed their contribution to services for women at risk of domestic and sexual abuse by over £2 million. The organisation have already shut down two of their culturally sensitive projects providing support to women from ethnic minorities, specialist services that cannot be replaced, placing the most vulnerable women in our society at even greater risk of abuse and/or homicide. My heart is pounding as I write this.
I have worked for Refuge and various other schemes. They provide the backbone to many other services, leading the way with their specialist in-house training and the national 24hr domestic violence helpline. They have helped implement a framework which ensures equality and good practice across the board. Putting it mildly, without Refuge, many women would be forced to remain in abusive relationships, destined to put up and shut up.
2 women a week are murdered by their abusive partners. In the year 2012, spousal homicide is still very much a reality. Whilst this is still an issue, how can this government possibly justify slashing the budget by half? Austerity means cuts, but we’ve all seen what cuts do to the people of this country. They are already dying due to welfare reform, vulnerable people are committing suicide because this government has not listened to them, has not believed that they are genuinely unwell, has withdrawn their support to leave them suffering alone. The campaign to divide and rule the public against the sick and disabled has been malicious. They want people with mental health issues to work for their benefit.
Now, what will they think of our women at risk of or fleeing domestic abuse? Rhetoric around the breakdown of the family, single mothers and their devil spawn, the women that broke Britain by undermining the role of father and breadwinner… Male privilege must be allowed to return and flourish. Hear hear, vote Tory!
As a child, I witnessed domestic abuse in all its forms. In my home, on the street, in the media. Women were not more accepting of it back then, they simply had no choice. The police would not respond as urgently to domestic calls because they were exactly that, issues to be resolved between ‘man and wife’.
My mother remained in an abusive relationship until I was old enough, aged 15 to drag her away from it and into a safe house. She just didn’t have the strength. She couldn’t do it herself because she was afraid to speak the language (my mother spoke fluent English but was too ashamed to having been mocked by father for being illiterate). Culturally sensitive refuges meant that women like my mum could approach a service themselves if they needed to. When I eventually began my career in domestic violence services, I started off in a refuge for women of South Asian origin. The work we did was invaluable. It saddens me that cuts will always affect the most specialist services first.
Vivien Hayes of the Women’s Resource Centre, speaking to the Guardian, says “Government cuts have impacted more negatively on women than men. You have to wonder whether this is a case of institutional sexism.” And by its very nature, institutionalised racism too. The culturally sensitive refuges go first, then services to women in general.
Whether it is cuts to job in the public sector or direct funding to vulnerable women and their children, women have borne the brunt of this government’s policies. They’ve tried to affect the way in which we access family planning services. We’ve seen them mock their female members of parliament, “calm down dear, yada yada.” It’s easy to imagine the PM as a spotty teenaged boy, pulling on the pigtails of his crush, calling her a slag when she rejects him.
Are we in the slightest bit surprised that the Tories would do this to us and our services?
What comes next? The decriminalization of spousal rape?
Cutting services for women, thereby definitely cutting services to BME women, turning the clock back to the 1970s and all the other privileges that period afforded men. Yes, the country will save money. There’ll be fewer divorces, fewer welfare claims, fewer women to deal with because many more of them will be dead.
The Independent on Sunday places the UK in 16th place for the best place in the world for a woman to be.
I have a feeling it’s about to get a lot worse.
I was a small child when I first heard the word Tories and my understanding of it stretched to the name of their leader and how she stole all the milk. I had another run in with them aged 8 when they were voted in again; I remember my teacher was in a particularly sombre mood that day. I grew up believing politics wouldn’t do anything for me, that voting was pointless. Until the last election.
I suddenly found myself in a world where our forests were of no importance. Where agencies I’d found invaluable through my work were having their funding cut and given to coercive ‘charities’. Services for the most vulnerable women and children in our country. Libraries, they were getting the chop too. I had begun an access course with a view to a degree in criminal psychology but totting up the sums, I had to make a serious decision to discontinue. Then came the benefit cuts, people no longer being able to afford their homes and the government legislation that would lead to seriously sick and disabled people cut short of their lifeline. Anyone would think the Tories wanted people to die. Further proof of this could be found in what they had planned for our beloved NHS.
I recently had my first encounter with a patient being advised to pay for her own operation, at the Atos offices. She was quite clearly struggling along on crutches; she didn’t sound or look healthy. I didn’t want to pry but she obviously needed treatment except she wasn’t going to get it. What an utterly bizarre experience. I’ve tried to understand the kinds of operations we will have to pay for and I guess this probably means ‘elective’ procedures. The cyst I had removed had 1.2 litres of fluid in it and whilst I’d have preferred a course of magic shrinking pills, this was not possible and the excellent team at Kings convinced me to have it removed. That was an ‘elective’ procedure, the consent form said so. Imagine having to live with something like that because you couldn’t afford to pay for it. Furthermore, if I were able to afford a decent private healthcare plan, would they cover for pre-existing conditions? What a mess they’ve made, those Tories. What a dirty word it is.
I voted Labour at the last local election. On the advice of a good friend who was by no means Labour herself, but had acknowledged that old people were less likely to die in the winter. It was a good start. The Tories don’t care about the old; they don’t care about the young. They don’t care about the poor, or the middle. They have a particular aversion to women, especially those going it alone. They don’t like students, or those that don’t know their place. They haven’t got a care in hell for those facing persecution or eviction. They just want your money. (*there is no benefit in talking about the Fib Gems at all)
If we don’t like where they’re cutting/spending our money, we should stop giving it to them. By continuing to pay, we are complicit in their actions. Time to research how to make this a reality, all comments are welcome, advice would be handy too.