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Social Services Campaigners rally to save Doncaster women's aid centre

CAMPAIGNERS rallied over the weekend to defend a Women’s Aid centre in South Yorkshire which is threatened with closure for a second time because of a loss of funding.

Doncaster Women’s Aid was founded in 1976 but closed in 2016.

A new centre opened the same year using a one-off £30,000 grant from Doncaster Council, though with fewer staff and resources.

The council faces a £70 million cut in government funding this year, on top of £200m in cuts imposed since 2010.

The council says the cuts mean there is nothing available for Women’s Aid, though social workers continue to refer abuse victims to the centre, which remains open thanks to labour movement donations, for help.

The protest yesterday was staged by Women’s Lives Matter, which is campaigning to keep the centre open.

A spokeswoman for the group said that across Britain two women a week are killed by violent partners, while three more take their own lives to escape abuse.

“Domestic abuse is on the rise and the cost of removing these vital services is huge – both in financial terms as well as psychological and physical cost to the victim,” said the spokeswoman.

“Services like these turn victims into survivors.”

Bakers’ union BFAWU president Ian Hodson told the rally: “I am a brother, a son, a father and an uncle.

“I stand to defend this service because I want to know that this service is there for my sister, my mother, my daughter or my niece if they should need to escape from a violent partner.”

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