Gender critical views in social work

I qualified as a social worker in 2000, and for 21 years I have worked in the specialist field of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV), culminating in becoming the designated ‘expert’ for my local authority and the person they consulted with on all matters concerning violence against women. The recognition of the myriad forms of violence and abuse experienced by women at the hands of men came about by the sheer hard work, stamina and courage of the women like me who never gave up fighting for women and girls regardless of the opposition we faced.

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Gender ideology threatens women’s refuges

Yet another Women’s Aid Centre has had its funding cut by the local council because they provide women-only services. Just let that sink in.

Back in the 70s there were no refuges, female victims of male violence had nowhere to go. It was women – feminists – who campaigned, raised money and set up safe spaces for themselves and their sisters. Research shows that women who suffer abuse and violence do better in single-sex services run by women with specialist knowledge and experience.

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Refuges: Women-only safe havens…or not?

Refuges are part of the everyday landscape of Wales, a part of the landscape that has saved the lives of numerous women and children. They are now also commonplace across many parts of the globe. No-one in their right mind would argue that they are not an essential part of women and children’s safety. They are recognised as such by the women that use them, as well as legislators and funders. Many women are only alive today because of women-only spaces.

The history

To understand how essential refuges are we need to go back to the 1970s when they grew out of the women’s movement. Women mobilised. Out of their activism and solid hard work they got us to where we are today. They were acts of immense courage at the time – by the women who set them up, and by the women who fled their homes and trusted in these new refuges. It was an entirely unpredicted and extraordinary development. Continue reading “Refuges: Women-only safe havens…or not?”