A feminist group staged a protest at Southwark’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday to highlight claims that the council is failing victims of domestic violence.
The South East London branch of Sisters Uncut is demanding safe and secure housing for all women and non-binary people who have experienced domestic violence.
The group is also calling for the council to provide specialist services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), disabled and LGBT+ survivors.
A domestic violence support worker who took part in the action said: “I’m joining Sisters Uncut on Tuesday to hold Southwark Council to account for their appalling treatment of survivors in the borough. They are letting our sisters down. How can she leave if she has nowhere to go?”
Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for housing, said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms and is a complex issue which is unique to each person who is affected by it, which is why we have a specific strategy to address it.
“We work alongside Southwark Advocacy and Support Service (SASS), delivered by Solace Women’s Aid, to support victims by helping them into temporary accommodation or providing sanctuary and security measures which allow them to stay in their own homes.
“Statistics alone do not give the whole picture – we aim to reduce the risk of harm to a person in a wide-ranging, varied and bespoke way, not just by looking at their housing situation and moving someone away, which doesn’t always resolve the issue. All housing applications are assessed according to the person’s circumstances.
“Housing is in extremely high demand and vulnerable women who have children or are pregnant are prioritised, for example. We will continue to support all victims of domestic abuse in ways proven to be successful using the experience we have gained in years of tackling this emotive issue.”
After the protest Cllr Cryan talked to the protesters and has agreed to meet them for a further discussion.