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Greens call for domestic and sexual violence service funding to be protected as city celebrates gender equality work

Greens celebrate local services at conference and say council must guarantee future funding

Greens say local services that prevent domestic and sexual violence must be protected from funding cuts, calling on the council to champion organisations like Brighton Women’s Centre, who held their conference this week.

Domestic violence offences have increased year on year in the city, with demand for specialist services continuing to rise. However, concerns remain over levels of funding for local domestic violence support services, with recent reports revealing that providers are at times working up to 140% above capacity.

With the council currently in the process of planning how to spend its resources next year, Greens say that all parties must commit to protecting funding for work that supports survivors of abuse and their families – including wraparound support such as counselling and homelessness advice.

Last year, pressure from Green Councillors and community campaigners forced the Labour Council to abandon plans to cut £50,000 from local domestic and sexual violence support. Ahead of the next council budget setting round, Greens say that organisations such as the Brighton Women’s Centre and RISE must be given the certainty they need to plan for the future. 

Green Councillor Lizzie Deane, who attended the Conference yesterday, commented:

“Time for Unity conference has brought together people from across the spectrum of organisations and agencies that support all those affected by domestic abuse and gender inequality.

“As a key partner, the council has an important role to play in supporting survivors of abuse, whether it be financial support or simply helping people make their voices heard. We renew our call: and hope that all parties commit to protecting funding for the future.”

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty added:

“The Brighton Women’s Centre conference this week has reminded us of the ongoing push for equality. The London School of Economics calculates that a massive £26bn of Government cuts have been shouldered by women over the last decade– whether that’s directly, through cuts to services like refuges and children’s centres, but also indirectly, in areas such as library and bus route closures.

“Austerity has forced many councils to cut provision but all the evidence tells us many organisations that support survivors of abuse are at breaking point. As decision makers for our city, we hope that all Councillors demonstrate support for such vital services. Looking ahead to the next council budget, we urge the Labour Council to ensure that those already struggling are spared the pain of yet more cuts. Today Greens make a public plea that organisations providing essential services – such as the Brighton Women’s Centre – are given the resources they need to continue their invaluable work.”

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