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Sisters Uncut replace Tube ads with poems by survivors of domestic abuse and state violence for International Women’s Day

PUBLISHED: 18:34 08 March 2019

The stunt was done for International Women's Day.

The stunt was done for International Women's Day.

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Feminist direct action group Sisters Uncut have marked International Women’s Day by replacing Tube adverts with poems written by survivors of domestic abuse and state violence.

Sisters Uncut stick their poems up on the Tube.Sisters Uncut stick their poems up on the Tube.

The collection of 14 original pieces document the real stories of women and non-binary people who have found themselves locked up in prison, locked out of refuges, and locked in violent relationships.

The north London branch of Sisters Uncut stuck 300 copies of the poems – designed to mimic the “poems of the Underground” posters – on the Central, Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines.

In the poems, authors describe how they fear fleeing violent relationships because of the “hostile environment” and their insecure immigration status, while others share experiences of being imprisoned in detention centres after reporting the domestic abuse they suffered to police.

Nadia Bell, Sisters Uncut activist said: “We hope to show Londoners how Theresa May’s government is really treating women and non-binary people who are trying to escape domestic violence.”

The posters replaced ads on the London Underground network.The posters replaced ads on the London Underground network.

“This International Women’s Day, it is important to recognise the work that still needs to be done to guarantee safety for ALL survivors, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status.”

Black and Minority Ethnic women’s groups have raised concern at how the threat of immigration removal is subsequently being “used by abusers against women – to scare them into not seeking help.”

Other poems focus on the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill, which Sisters Uncut fears will criminalise survivors.

Grace Chan, domestic violence sector worker said: “The DV Bill is intended to ‘deliver more convictions’ for domestic violence, which we fear will further criminalise survivors of abuse. The solution doesn’t lie in giving the police more power - Theresa May needs to give power back to survivors by funding specialist services.”

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