Blog posts



Women's refuges save lives

Women's refuges SAVE lives

Women's refuges SAVE LIVES

Domestic abuse specialist services are being threatened by cuts and more worryingly in an attempt to cut more costs - by Councils tendering out dv services to the cheapest bidder. When we leave an abusive relationship we are at a greater risk of a fatal attack than at any other time in our relationship. We need specialist services because women's needs when fleeing abusive relationships are complex.  This kind of service cannot be tendered out to the cheapest bidder as if we are replacing light bulbs in a council building - quality and expertise costs money and time. I've been listing the names of women killed by known men since 2007 and time and again I see the same pattern - she was leaving or had recently left. 

Since 1981 Wearside Women In Need, a feminist charity, has helped women and children experiencing domestic violence, forced marriage, trafficking and FGM. Their local council, Sunderland Council, has slashed all funding for domestic abuse services in the City from £586,000 a year to ZERO from this July 2017 and they are planning to tender out some domestic abuse services.  

Cutting corners to save costs has a bigger impact on lives than cutting corners to replace council light bulbs - a cheap light bulb may blow and need to be replaced but without specialist dv services actual lives are lost.  

Women have been fighting for and developing specialist support services for decades and the current trend is tearing this down bit by bit - women and their children will suffer and our society will suffer. Each domestic abuse murder costs the country just over £1 million - that's almost £100million for last year. With the right support these lives can be saved.

Jean Hatchett is doing a bike ride to remember each woman killed last year. Her #ride4murderedwomen will raise money for Wearside Women's Aid "I want to raise money to help victims of domestic violence. This money will go to Wearside Women In Need who face the closure of all 4 of their women's refuges because of a planned withdrawal of funding by Sunderland Council. Women will die as a result of that decision. We must save the women in Sunderland from men who will murder them." Says Jean

The list of women killed in 2016 is long and is likely to get longer as cases come to court and cases that were un-known come to light - Women and girls aged 6 to 75 killed by fathers, sons, husbands and partners. 

Jean adds "I will never ride less than 10 miles for any woman on the list... my usual ride is between 20 and 40 miles. I promise I will ride till my lungs scream. These women were worth it. Let us honour those women and celebrate their lives." 

We shouldn't have to crowdfund for essential services but we do because women's services are being cut. If you can support please do - if you can't support financially please share this GoFundMe link and follow her journey on twitter through #ride4murderedwomen @jeanhatchett 

ride for murdered women - 2016

Jean Hatchet has  completed the final ride of an awareness-raising project she started in March 2017 -  to complete a bike ride named in honour of each of the women murdered in 2016 by men they knew - as a result of domestic abuse. You can read more about Jean's tribute here -