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More than 30,000 call on Brighton and Hove City Council to save a domestic abuse charity

MORE than 30,000 people have signed a petition to save a domestic-abuse charity in a campaign with the “largest ever” submission to Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC).

The Brighton Rise Up campaign said that the message about the defunding of specialist domestic-abuse organisation Rise has now been heard loud and clear, with support from local and national MPs, city residents and through the media. 

The group said the campaign has clamoured for proper oversight of issues arising from a tendering process in which Rise lost a £5 million contract to provide services, calling those in power to account for errors and omissions made since 2018. 

The break-up of services when contracts switch to social housing provider Stonewater and charity Victim Support on April 1 has also prompted concerns about safeguarding issues and the impact on survivors.

A motion passed on March 25 by BHCC agreed to support the work of Rise in helping those affected by domestic abuse and violence. But in spite of this statement of support, Rise is now without a venue for service users and staff or funds to continue to aid vulnerable families.

The campaigners are continuing to put pressure on the council to deliver on the promise of premises. 

One campaigner, Ali C, said: “We appreciate the council’s strong words, yet the clock is ticking and this guaranteed safe space for Rise is yet to materialise.”

Campaigners have vowed to continue meeting staff and councillors to keep up the pressure for dedicated refuge services by specialist professionals.

The city council has been contacted for comment.

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