Feminist activist group, Sisters Uncut, has hijacked London’s Tubes with their powerful messages to highlight the devastating impact of cuts to women’s services ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.
The posters, which have replaced advertisements on the Circle, Victoria and Northern lines, call for a “strategic plan for all domestic violence survivors.”
The move comes soon after 600 members of the group blocked bridges around the UK and halted traffic, to demand extra funding for domestic violence services, which were cut in the Conservative austerity measures since 2014. The group held placards that read: “you block our bridges, we’ll block yours.”
“Many of the services lost in austerity were set up and run by women of colour for women of colour, because generic services did not meet their needs. Those needs remain unmet, and women of colour and migrant survivors remain more likely to be trapped in violence, without any support,” a statement on the group’s website reads.
The group are asking for a long-term strategic plan for safety for women against domestic violence, rather than what they call the “chaotic and temporary” current measures.
Theresa May recently pledged £20m in funding for women’s refuges, as part of a wider £40m package, but the group have said this is akin to “sticking a plaster on a haemorrhage.”
This weeks’ Autumn Statement is believed by the Women’s Budget Group, to leave women significantly worse off by 2020, as a result of budget and tax changes.
Sisters Uncut has become known recently for their bold protest tactics since it formed in 2014, from lying on the red carpet at the Suffragette premiers, to dying the water of Trafalgar Square fountains red, in reference to the blood of women suffering from domestic violence.
Writing in The Telegraph this week, the group made a powerful metaphor, saying:
“Domestic violence is like being stranded on a hellish island; trapped and isolated from support, heavily monitored and controlled by an abusive partner.
To escape that environment, you need a bridge to safety. Domestic violence services are those bridges. They help women escape abuse, daily fear and harm.”
If you’re interested in supporting the group, you can find out more here.