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Women Dyed London Fountains Red To Protest Against Cuts To Domestic Violence Services

Activist group Sisters Uncut said that the civil disobedience visually depicted its “they cut, we bleed" mantra.

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Activist group Sisters Uncut added blood-red dye to the Trafalgar Square fountains on Saturday to protest against spending cuts to domestic violence services.

Sisters Uncut

The action comes in direct response to the Wednesday's spending review in which chancellor George Osborne announced cuts to local council budgets, which Sisters Uncut believe will have significant impact on services such as local domestic violence support.

While Osborne said during the spending review that money from a controversial "tampon tax" would be used to support women's charities, many women felt that money should already be spent on such services, and Sisters Uncut called the proposal, "sticking plaster on a haemorrhage”.

"Domestic violence services need a long term, sustainable funding solution – one that is funded by the state. Taxing menstruation is not the answer," Sisters Uncut said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Women are powerful and dangerous" Amazing demo either @SistersUncut #TheyCutWeBleed

“Many people don't realise that cuts to local councils equate to cuts to domestic violence support services," Sisters Uncut member Ama Roberts said following the fountain demonstration.

Sisters Uncut

Over 30 domestic violence support services closed since Osborne's austerity measures were introduced in 2010 according to charity Women's Aid.

"They are a lifeline. If more services shut down, more women will die,” Roberts added.

Over 500 women, many of whom were domestic violence survivors or support workers chanted, "two women a week murdered" and "they cut, we bleed" at the demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, and earlier in Soho square.

Marching with @SistersUncut today against cuts to dom violence services. #TheyCutWeBleed #austerity #spendingreview

"Every day I fight for women’s lives, and now I am fighting for my ability to do that," Zara Khan, a domestic violence support worker and spokesperson for Sisters Uncut said in a statement.

"The government should be making it easier, not more difficult, for women to flee life-threatening violence.”

Women at the event wore black and some carried funereal wreaths to mourn the deaths of women killed as a result of domestic violence.

Join us. Soho Square. For the women & services we have lost to the gov's brutal austerity programme #TheyCutWeBleed

Last month Sisters Uncut rose to attention when they staged a demonstration at the premiere of Suffragette to protest against cuts that would affect victims of domestic violence.

Star of Suffragette Carey Mulligan said that the protest was a "perfect response" during the premiere of a film highlighting the struggles of women 100 years ago.

Helen Bonham Carter, who appears alongside Mulligan said: "I'm glad our film has done something. That's exactly what it's there for."

"When two women a week are killed by violent men in the UK," the campaign group told BuzzFeed News at the time, "the struggle is not over".

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

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