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Sisters Take Action!

In the UK, 2 women are killed by a partner or ex-partner every week. In 2015, two thirds of the women who approached domestic violence refuges were turned away. Things were worse for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) survivors, of whom 4 out of every 5 were denied access. Services providing support to domestic violence survivors are in dire conditions at the hands of austerity measures, with organisations forced to compete amongst themselves for financial support due to a lack or uncertainty of funding.

According to a Women’s Aid Annual Survey, on just one day in 2015, ‘92 women and 75 children were turned away from refuge. For nearly half of the women, it was because there was not enough space for them.’

On November 20, 2016, Sisters Uncut — a feminist direct-action collective — staged a coordinated series of protests, blocking traffic across bridges in London, Newcastle, Glasgow and Bristol. Their demands, stated in a press release for the action: ‘a secure, long term plan to support ALL domestic violence survivors, regardless of immigration status, with specialist services for black and brown, disabled and LGBT+ survivors.’

The following photographs were captured at the protest in London.

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 Names of women, non-binary people and children killed in acts of domestic violence in 2016 are read aloud.

Names of women, non-binary people and children killed in acts of domestic violence in 2016 are read aloud.

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 Green and purple flares — the colours of the Sisters Uncut collective — are lit as the march begins.

Green and purple flares — the colours of the Sisters Uncut collective — are lit as the march begins.

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 The march turns towards its destination, Waterloo Bridge, where a sit-in is planned.

The march turns towards its destination, Waterloo Bridge, where a sit-in is planned.

 Over 600 women and non-binary people sit across both lanes of Waterloo Bridge, blocking traffic for nearly an hour.

Over 600 women and non-binary people sit across both lanes of Waterloo Bridge, blocking traffic for nearly an hour.

 An angry motorist argues with protestors, unsuccessfully attempting to move them off the bridge.

An angry motorist argues with protestors, unsuccessfully attempting to move them off the bridge.

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 With music playing through a PA system, Waterloo Bridge is transformed into an impromptu dance floor.

With music playing through a PA system, Waterloo Bridge is transformed into an impromptu dance floor.

 After blocking access to the bridge for nearly an hour, and with police presence rapidly increasing, the protest begins to make its way off the bridge.

After blocking access to the bridge for nearly an hour, and with police presence rapidly increasing, the protest begins to make its way off the bridge.

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