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Support Not Separation

Support Not Separation

Organisers from Legal Action for Women, Recovering Justice and Ubuntu Women Shelter meet together to discuss the principle of support not separation. Every year children are wrenched by the state from their mothers and primary carers, then placed into that often most uncaring of places – care.

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What motivates these imposed separations? How can they be avoided? What are the barriers of shame, stigma, isolation, racism and sexism that people have to push through in a struggle to be reunited with their children?

This discussion will open up recognition of powerful grassroots resistance to unjust separations and the complex forces that precedes such crises. It will create a space to learn from the approach of these grassroots feminist organisations and strategise ways to support relationships between mothers, parents, carers and their children based on respect and empowerment.

Legal Action for Women is a grassroots, anti-sexist, anti-racist legal service for all women based at the Crossroads Women’s Centres in London, England and San Francisco, USA. One of their many areas of grassroots legal advocacy and campaigning is called Support Not Separation, which has successfully enabled carers to be reunited with their children and campaigns at a national level for an end to unjust separations of parents, relatives and their children.

Recovering Justice form an empowered collective voice that speaks and advocates for an end to the criminalisation and stigmatisation of people who use drugs. They seek radical reform of current drug policies and the advancement of treatment services and support groups that respect the autonomy of people who use drugs and benefit society as a whole.

Ubuntu Women Shelter supports women and non-binary people without recourse to public funds to access their temporary shelter and long-term community support. Ubuntu Women Shelter simultaneously challenges the structural racism and sexism that engenders the violence and destitution their refuge guests are fleeing.

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