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Friday, 17 January 2014

Benefit Cap traps women in violent relationships

From Women Against Rape

Please sign urgently.  The legal challenge this petition supports is coming to court on 28 & 29 January. 
The petition has just under 500 signatures.  We need as many as possible

Signatories include:
Dr Bridget Anderson
Natalie Bennett, Leader Green Party
Dr Lynn Bindman JP
Zena Edwards, poet
Dr Charmian Goldwyn
Selma James, Global Women’s Strike
John McDonnell MP
Mrs Jessica Mccarnun, Bedroom Tax campaigner
Waveney Women’s Aid - Jenny Webber
Women’s Health Project, South London
Splitz Support Service - Jacqueline Mundy
Dr Felicity de Zulueta

Dear friends,
The benefit cap is trapping women and children in violent relationships.  A legal challenge in defence of women who have already been affected will be heard on 27 and 28 January at the Court of Appeal.
What you can do:
·         Sign the petition to scrap the cap NOW, get your organisation to endorse it, like it to you friends on facebook and twitter – we need as many signatures as possible. 
·         Join the protest outside the court on 27 & 28 January, 9.30 am, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand WC2A 2LL.
·         Listen to Kim Sparrow from Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, who has endorsed the petition, on BBC Radio 5 Live about the reality of the Benefit Cap. (Starts 1:08 minutes into the show, move cursor along.) Like it to your friends.

Petition to Scrap the Benefit Cap
which traps women and children in violent relationships.
In support of legal challenge to be heard 27-28 Jan 2014

WAR outside the High Court in Oct 2013
Women Against Rape (WAR) and others have launched a petition asking the public to support women and children impoverished by the Benefit Cap after escaping violent relationships.  A legal challenge on behalf of affected families will be heard in the Court of Appeal on 27 and 28 January 2014.
Solicitor Rebekah Carrier describes the Cap as ‘catastrophic, cruel and arbitrary’.

Please sign online here

For more information about the petition contact WAR
Tel: 020 7482 2496 

About the legal challenge: Rebekah Carrier, Hopkin Murray Beskine.  
Tel: 020 7272 1234 
·     One third of women have suffered domestic violence.  Every week two women are killed by partners or ex-partners, in England and Wales.
·     The Benefit Cap limits a family’s total benefit to £500 per week, including rent and Child Benefit.  Extortionate rents, including for some refuges and hostels, leave mothers and children with little or no income to live on. 
·     A test case is being fought in court on behalf of families impoverished by the Benefit Cap after escaping violence.  So far, there is no exemption from the Cap for victims of violence. 
·     Many victims of violence are unable to get a job immediately or to move to a cheaper area – they need to stay close to friends and relatives for support, and time to recover and to reassure distressed children.
Women Against Rape was among the groups demonstrating at the High Court in October.  We heard in court what the mothers and children have gone through, including living for years in rundown housing. 
They are represented by Rebekah Carrier of Hopkin Murray Beskine, who describes the Cap as catastrophic, cruel and arbitrary:
"Two of the families have fled domestic violence in circumstances where they were financially reliant upon their abusive partners, and they now face a stark choice between descending further into poverty and risking losing their homes, or returning to their abusers in order to escape the imposition of the cap."
Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape says:
We call on the government to put the safety of women and children first by lifting the Benefit Cap so no one is trapped in a violent a relationship where they risk injury, trauma and even death.” 
The petition is endorsed by the Black Women’s Rape Action Project, Legal Action for Women, Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities) and Women Against Rape.

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