Sisters Uncut March Through London In Protest Against Cuts To Anti-Domestic Violence Services

The fountains of Trafalgar Square were turned red by a huge protest against cuts to women's services in London on Saturday.

The dye was meant to reflect the impact on women who have suffered from the closures of refuges and the cuts to domestic violence protection as part of the government's austerity drive.

The Sisters Uncut group estimated there were around 500 women at the protest. Some carried signs listing how many refuges had closed since the government began making its cuts.

A member of the group called Zara, told The Independent: “Today there were a lot of people who had never protested before but they feel very strongly about this particular issue.

“It takes a while for people to see the impact of cuts on these kinds of services.”

Women at the demo carried flowers spelling out "domestic violence services" in the style of a funeral display.

In a HuffPost UK blog before the march, activist Lucy Strange wrote that women's services were "in crisis" because of cuts.

She said: "Since austerity began in 2010 over 30 specialist domestic violence services have closed. 30 services that provided a lifeline to women fleeing violence, services that offered specialist knowledge, empathy, hope, a future."

She continued: "Mr Osborne brutally announced that things would only get worse. He slashed local authority budgets by a further £4.1 billion: that's a 56% reduction in the grants given by central government to local authorities.

"Make no mistake, cuts to local authority budgets are direct cuts to domestic violence services."