CAMPAIGNERS have taken to the streets in protest to save South Yorkshire’s last remaining Women’s Aid centre for victims of domestic abuse and violence.
The demonstrators in Doncaster on Saturday demanded that council funding continues for the town’s Women’s Aid centre, which has helped thousands of victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Doncaster Women’s Aid centre, founded in 1976, faced closure last year before campaigners secured a one-off £30,000 council grant to continue as South Yorkshire Women’s Aid, though with a skeleton staff and fewer resources.
Now Doncaster Council claims there is no money to fund the centre after December. The authority faces a £70 million cut in government funding, on top of £200m in cuts imposed since 2010.
A lobby demanding continued funding is planned outside the council’s monthly meeting on Thursday.
Jennifer Hall received help from Doncaster Women’s Aid when she needed it and is now one of the campaigners demanding continued council funding.
She told the Morning Star: “We are a strong campaign with a lot of support. The council is withdrawing funding. This funding period was for 18 months and ends in December, but actually there is no money now — there’s a Justgiving appeal that is paying the rent.”
Ms Hall said that even as council funding ends, the council’s social services department is referring cases to the Women’s Aid centre.
The council said it spends more than £1m a year on domestic abuse services, but that there is no money available for Women’s Aid because of Tory cuts.