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Stop Portsmouth Council cutting funding for life-saving domestic violence services!

This petition had 45,725 supporters

As a sector worker who has worked in domestic violence services for 3 years, talking with survivors of violence and abuse every day, I am constantly amazed by how resilient, strong, inspiring, and powerful every woman I meet is. Domestic abuse services in Portsmouth have long been an essential lifeline for women seeking solace from abuse. Families have had the opportunity to start again, women have been given the chance to rebuild their relationships with their children, friends, and relatives, and find a safe space free from violence and abuse to begin healing. Domestic abuse services in this city are not just a safe space; they are a sanctuary for those who have survived.

On 8th December, Portsmouth City Council will vote on proposed budget cuts that will devastate the city’s domestic violence services. The budget proposes an overall cut of £180k in funding for domestic violence support in Portsmouth.

This will mean:

  • the loss of 8 out of 15 specialist support worker roles – so fewer women will receive the support they need
  • the loss of a specialist worker to support women facing homelessness as a result of domestic violence
  • no specialist domestic violence support available to health visitors, despite the risk of domestic violence being higher in the first year of a child’s life
  • inadequate specialist domestic violence support to other professionals including GPs and child protection social workers

Two women a week are killed at the hands of a partner or ex-partner in the UK. In Portsmouth, the police receive a call reporting a domestic abuse incident every three hours. Specialist domestic violence services save lives. These are not just budget proposals – they are a matter of life and death for those facing domestic violence.

At the Full Council meeting on the 8th December, councillors will have the opportunity to reject these proposals. Public pressure can force Portsmouth Council to re-think their budget. We are calling on all Councillors voting on the 8th December to reject these brutal cuts. Domestic violence services should be fighting for women’s lives, not for their own survival.

The leader of Portsmouth Council, Donna Jones, and all those making this decision must be held to account for putting women’s lives in danger.

Portsmouth City Council – if you cut, women and children will bleed!

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