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Pussy Riot’s Nadya on Trump & domestic violence service cuts

Watch the musician, artist and activist’s performance art, illustrating the serious threat to programs that support survivors

The Trump administration’s budget plans from March proposed to cut funding for domestic violence services – a move that’s estimated to see about 260,000 fewer victims access shelters and supportive services every year. Recent news has also confirmed that Trump is erasing Medicaid, bringing in the horrifying American Healthcare Act, which would mean people with ‘pre-existing conditions’, like PTSD stemming from sexual assault and domestic violence, could be denied health insurance. 

Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot has collaborated with Jessie Askinazi and Claire Christerson on a project with East Los Angeles Women’s Centre: a visual that uses performance art to highlight the damage that the proposed cuts could do to services for domestic violence survivors. Under Trump and the Violence Against Women Act, all 25 grant programs would be cut, putting the well-being and safety of women, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, at serious risk. Human Rights Watch is speaking out about the impact scrapping VAWA funding will have on immigrant women.

Speaking to Teen Vogue, Tolokonnikova said: “I'm angry that instead of protecting our rights governments are ceasing them. I'm sick of it. Trump's deranged administration is cutting spends on public institutions that provide us opportunity to be safe and healthy, such as Planned Parenthood, such as shelters for those who're suffering from domestic violence.”

“We could save people's lives, instead of that we're feeding wars and corruption with our public money.”

The executive director for ELAWC Barbara Kappos also said: “We are at risk of losing many of our rights and losing funding that can jeopardize services for women and girls. We need women to get involved in politics, raising our voices and getting involved on a local and national level. Our voices must not be silenced."

Tolokonnikova wrote previously for Dazed about Russia’s implementation of a law that would decriminalise domestic violence. “If you’re experiencing domestic violence in Russia, you have no place to go,” the punk activist wrote. “You have to stay with your abusing husband/dad/whoever. Until he kills you or you kill him”.

“Fuck this shit,” she concluded.

Watch the poignant, sadly beautiful video below.

h/t Teen Vogue