Gaptooth feat. Sisters Uncut
‘They Cut We Bleed (Gaptooth Music)
Worldwide release date: 01.12.17
The new single from East London-based electro artist Gaptooth (aka Hannah Lucy) is filled with feminist rage against government austerity measures. The track, ‘They Cut We Bleed’, is a tribute to feminist direct action group Sisters Uncut, who have become famous for their protests against life-threatening cuts to services for survivors of domestic violence.
“In the UK, two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner, but the government is cutting funding for refuges, legal aid, social housing – all services that survivors rely on,” says Lucy. “Across the country, the first services to shut down have been those set up for women of colour and LGTBQ+ survivors, while many migrant survivors are denied the right to access refuges at all. This is a matter of life or death. Theresa May has made a show of being tough on domestic violence, but is taking away lifelines for people trying to escape it.”
‘They Cut We Bleed’ is the second single taken from Gaptooth’s forthcoming second album, due out next year. It follows the Pillow Fort EP (2016), a selection of guitar-fuelled electro-pop tracks with a feminist bent, and her debut album Connections/Departures (2013), described by Everett True as “full of big blowsy choruses and tricky couplets that recall the heady days of Republica… joyous, infectious pop music from East London.”
All proceeds from the single will be donated to Sisters Uncut (www.sistersuncut.org).
Sisters Uncut is made up of women and non-binary people, many of them survivors of domestic violence or support workers who see the impact of the cuts first hand. They have been described by Vice as “Britain’s most radical direct action group”, and are best known for storming the red carpet at the Leicester Square premiere of the film Suffragette. ‘They Cut We Bleed’ features samples of protest chants, recorded in summer 2016 when Sisters Uncut took over an empty council flat in Hackney for nine weeks to highlight the lack of safe housing available for survivors fleeing domestic violence.
In May this year, Sisters Uncut took over the visitor’s centre at the recently closed Holloway Prison for a week to demand that the land be used as a women’s centre. The site – formerly a women’s prison – was once used to imprison suffragettes, who staged a hunger strike there in their fight for women’s right to vote. More recently, Sisters Uncut have been protesting a decision by Tower Hamlets Council to turn Hopetown Hostel, one of East London’s last women-only hostels, into a men’s hostel. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness among women, yet residents say the council are forcing survivors to move into mixed accommodation with men. Sisters Uncut are asking people to sign a petition to keep the Hopetown open, retaining all of its women-only hostel beds, and for investment in social housing and support services for women and non-binary people.
- Across England, funding for refuges for survivors of domestic violence has been cut by 24%. (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2017-10-16/a-system-at-breaking-point)
- About 1 in 4 women referred to refuge services in 2015/16 were turned away due to lack of space. Women’s Aid say that “there are likely to have been many more potential referrals that weren’t made because the refuge was already known to be full.” (Women’s Aid, https://1q7dqy2unor827bqjls0c4rn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Annual-Survey-2016.pdf)
- With specialist services being shut down, the picture is worse for black and minority ethnic (BME) women, of whom as many as 4 in 5 are turned away. (Imkaan, https://www.dropbox.com/s/2h7zknmuh33zno9/Capital%20Losses%20-%20Imkaan%20April%202016.pdf?dl=0)