There is absolutely no doubt that since this recession started women, children and the vulnerable have been and continue to be, the hardest hit.
From The Guardian, an overview of the public sector cuts, with links to individual summary pages.
Since the recession began, females in the private sector have been the worst hit and continue to struggle to find employment again. From the Office of National Statistics:
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) fell by 10,200 between January and February 2011 to reach 1.45 million. The number of male claimants has fallen for thirteen consecutive months but the number of female claimants has increased for eight consecutive months. The total number of male claimants fell by 17,500 on the month to reach 991,300 in February 2011 but the number of female claimants increased by 7,300 to reach 457,300, the highest figure since October 1996. The number of women aged between 25 and 49 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased by 5,400 on the month to reach 250,400, the highest figure since comparable records for this series began in 1997.
Of course, the figures for female unemployment will only continue to worsen as cuts across the public sector take hold, primarily from this year’s budget. The public sector is dominated by female employees.
The affects of the cuts to the NHS is a no-brainer – the NHS always have been struggling to provide a reasonable service across all fields, and this is set to get even worse. Hopefully they will at least cut non-life-threatening and elective proceedures such as cosmetic surgery and SRS. And no, I do not consider getting a mangina as essential compared to cataract surgery or hip replacements. Unison estimate the job losses in the NHS are around 4,000 per month.
At a time when crime is more likely to increase, the estimated loss to the police force is predicted to be 28,000 over the next four years. As well as other cuts across the CJS. Well, at least the crims will be happy about the cuts. And the rapists and domestic abusers, no fear that any more of them will end up behind bars.
Without going into all areas of the cuts, affecting things like social housing, mental health, homelessness and disabilities, I wanted to focus on domestic violence, which is hit on all sides of the budget as well as the direct cuts.
The indirect cuts that will affect DV are – the CJS and police are going to mean longer response times, less abusers going to jail thereby increasing the amount of domestic abuse. The NHS cuts will mean longer waits to get ‘patched up’ after having the crap being beaten out of you. All the changes to the benefits system (incapacity benefits), NHS and mental health will make it harder for women to get treated for PTSD, and get the benefits they need when unable to work from PTSD and injuries. Cuts to social housing and homelessness will mean more women have no choice but to stay with the abusers. Even women being targeted more for redundancies in both the public and private sectors will mean they will probably have to stay with an abusive partner.
On top of all that, the £36m cut to the DV sector directly. I believe that most of these cuts may be via the local government funding level, but obviously, it is cut firstly from the central government supply to local government. All the Home Office’s crap about taking it seriously and putting in £28m over 4 years (£7m per year), means fuck-all if £36m is actually taken away (more taken away than pledged, do the math). And the areas where the £28m is put into are NOT front line services, but basically within the CJS, which is fucking useless for those women and children that want to actually escape from DV situations.
As it already stands, front line services such as refuge places have to turn away about a third of the women who want to escape their situation (around 400 places, with around 200 regularly turned away). It’s not like this sector was adequately funded to begin with, by those figures, it is only two-thirds of what it should be).
There are still just under two women per week being killed by their partners or ex-partners, although that is not even the full scale of DV homicides. The actual figure of females over 16 being killed by relatives (which includes ‘dis-honour killings’) account for 69% of female homicides in 2009/10. I am planning a separate post detailing the breakdowns. So the actual figure of femicide by (all) family members (which is all included in DV stats) is closer to 2.6 females per week. ‘Family’ is by far the greatest danger to women.
I phoned the Women’s Aid national office today, and (planted the idea) that we should be doing a woman-specific protest to Downing St/Westminister on the cuts to DV services. So I will let you know if anything gets arranged. There is a Child Protection protest tomorrow for those interested.
These cuts from 01 April are not the only ones. There has been a gradual loss of funding over the last few years, with a small to moderate percentage of existing posts already gone. When I was volunteering at my local WA last year, I saw 10-15% staffing cuts back then, and this was before the massive slash.
The recession has hit women hardest, and continues to hit women and children, and vulnerable people the most. The likes of Sir Fred Goodwin, on a 12-13,000pw pension, and his cronies, swan off with a nice tidy little reward for fucking up big time. This entire recession was brought on by Goodwin and his buddies, and Gordon Brown bailing out them out. Fred not only has his pension, but another job since January 2010. I would actually like to know, how Sir Fred Fuckup, can score another job so quickly, when females such as myself (and around the same age) were made redundant and are finding it extremely difficult to get back into work. I have not fucked up at all, nor was I sacked, and I am very conscientious at work. Perhaps I should go all-trans, and attach a penis? That seems to be the key.