Monday 15 March 2021

"No woman should have to be afraid to walk home at night."

End violence against women!

TUSC supporters joined the vigil outside the Senedd on Saturday to remember the life of Sarah Everard and demand an end to violence against women.

Mia Hollsing, TUSC candidate for South Wales Central, spoke to the gathering:

"Sarah Everard left a friend’s house at 9pm on the 3rd of March. She was never seen again. Her body was found in Kent woodland on the 12th of March. A serving police officer in the Met has been arrested suspected of her kidnapping and murder. This shocking crime has rightly left people outraged across the country. No woman should have to fear this kind of violence. No woman should have to be afraid to walk home at night.

"Unfortunately Sarah is not the only woman who has been a victim of male violence. On average two women a week are killed in the UK by a partner or ex-partner. Approximately one in every three women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime. It is also estimated a further three women a week kill themselves as a result of experiencing domestic abuse. Despite this there are more animal shelters in Britain than refuges for women and children. Every week women are dying as a result of male violence, with the chronic underfunding of domestic abuse services making the situation worse. Already before Covid-19, in the year 2018-2019, 512 women were turned away from refuges in Wales due to lack of space, capacity or resources (Welsh Women's Aid).

"The pandemic has only made the situation worse. Lockdown, furlough and widespread working from home has meant women having to spend more time at home alone with their abusers, and homeschooling has meant children having to spend more time at home in families where abuse is present. At least 90% of VAWDASV (Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence) services in Wales have reported increased costs related to Covid -19. At the same time the number of survivors on waiting lists for support in the community has gone up by 143% (Welsh Women's Aid).

"What happened to Sarah is not an isolated incidence. It could happen to any woman and it needs to be stopped."

TUSC Wales demands:

* Long-term sustainable funding for all VAWDASV services in Wales to meet the needs of survivors of domestic abuse and to stop women being murdered.

* Democratic control of VAWDASV services.

* Refuge spaces for all who need them.

* A council house building building programme to make sure everyone has a safe home of their own, including women who need to move for their safety and to move on from refuge accommodation.

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