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FEMINISTS blocked Waterloo Bridge in London with sofas today to illustrate the shocking number of domestic abuse survivors forced to couch-surf because of a lack of beds in refuges.
About 50 activists from women’s rights group Sisters Uncut shut down the busy bridge, demanding an end to the Tory austerity that has decimated women’s services.
They blocked the bridge with three sofas to represent the three women killed each week by their partners. They carried banners reading: “Austerity forces 44 per cent of domestic violence survivors to couch-surf while waiting for a refuge bed.”
Sexual violence support worker Rosabelle De Silva, who took part in the protest, said: “The last decade has decimated the service I work for, and yet funding keeps going into things that do not work.
“Survivors do not need perpetrators to go to jail, they need to be provided with routes to safety. They need shelters because quite simply: sofas are not safety nets.”
Since 2010 local authorities have been stripped of £7 million of funding for refuges. Services supporting women of colour, Muslim and migrant women have suffered the most.
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