For the Uninitiated: Sisters Uncut

Sisters Uncut is a British feminist direct action group that is opposed to cuts to UK government services for domestic violence victims.

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Sisters Uncut is a London based feminist direct-action collective formed in November 2014 with the purpose of protesting austerity funding support services for victims of domestic violence.

Since forming in November 2014 the group have carried out a number of public protests including blocking streets, occupying council offices, setting fire to the Daily Mail and turning Trafalgar Square’s fountains red.

Their most high profile stunt to date was at the premiere of the 2015 film Suffragette when they stormed the red carpet and stage an unscheduled die-in. Helena Bonham-Carter who appeared in the film described the protest as “perfect.. If you feel strongly enough about something and there’s an injustice there you can speak out and try to get something changed“.

The Sisters have received a lot of positive press coverage and the Guardian’s Ellie Mae O’Hagan has described them as the modern suffregettes

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: A feminist group Sisters Uncut protesting against cuts to support for victims of domestic violence occupy the red carpet during a protest at the Suffragette premiere on the Opening Night Gala of the BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 7, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

One grey haired security man came up to me and asked: “Who’s in charge?” I wanted to reply: “We’re a non-hierarchical group that comes to decisions through consensus.” Instead I ignored him and kept chanting. But that is who we are and how we operate; there is no single leader because we are all leaders who love and support one another. Sisters Uncut is a sisterhood made up of diverse, fierce and loving women, and less than a year after its creation we jumped over the barriers of the red carpet with the eyes of the world’s press upon us and brought domestic violence to the global platform. Sisters Uncut

Many members of Sisters Uncut are support workers working in the sector or have been victims of abuse themselves.  Their gender inclusion policy states that “the group is open to all women (trans, intersex and cis), all those who experience oppression as women (including non-binary and gender non-conforming people) and all those who identify as women for the purpose of political organising“.

Austerity is a political ideology that means cuts to public services. These measures are particularly destructive to domestic violence survivors – forcing some of them to make awful choices to survive – like choosing between homelessness and staying in a house with a violent perpetrator. Or weighing up the merits of attempting to access justice – if it means having to represent themselves in court because legal aid is hard to secure.  Sisters Uncut

They are especially focused on stoping cuts to specialist services within the sector with one very notable exception.

They suggest that men who want to join their protest against under funded domestic violence services should do so by staying at home.

Their logo includes the mantra: ‘Good Night Men’s Rights’.

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