This year’s Baftas red carpet was gate-crashed by a group of protesters wearing T-shirts adorned with the slogan ‘Time’s Up Theresa’.
Acting on behalf of Sisters Uncut – a feminist group formed in 2014 who describe themselves as ‘taking direct action for domestic violence services’ – they stormed the Royal Albert Hall event, chanting “sisters united will never be defeated” and taking part in a sit-down protest.
During the Baftas, the organisation’s Twitter account posted numerous messages, criticising the upcoming Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill being implemented by the government.
“Theresa May’s upcoming Domestic Violence Bill is a dangerous distraction,” the messages stated. “Survivors will be locked up by a harmful criminal justice system, locked out of refuges or locked into violent relationships.”
“Survivors are already being arrested when they report abuse, and giving the police more power will increase this. 57% of women in prison have experienced domestic abuse.
“The police and prisons are no solution to domestic violence. Give power back to survivors: fund refuges and specialist domestic violence services.”
Suzanne Da Costa, a domestic violence helpline worker who took part in the protest, said in a statement: “Imagine calling the police for help and ending up in a police cell – it’s incredibly traumatic and a story I’ve heard too often from survivors. We shouldn’t be giving the police more power, we should be giving power back to survivors”.
The protest took place moments before Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge walked the red carpet. Meanwhile, many of the actors at the event wore all-black in support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — including Angelina Jolie, Margot Robbie, and Gemma Arterton.
Follow along with the latest from the Baftas here.
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