Why Holloway Prison should become a new women’s building

Nandini Archer, a human rights activist and member of Sisters Uncut has written an article for the website, openDemocracy calling for a women’s building on the Holloway prison site, arguing that ‘this former site of state violence against women must be reclaimed – for the collective good.’ 

Nandini writes,

Funds allocated to this prison system – and new plans to build super prisons – could be used to prioritise policies that radically reduce the number of people in prison through investing in communities and providing social welfare instead.

Survivors of domestic violence need spaces to heal and seek safety, including refuges, support services and housing, rather than being priced out of their communities by the inevitable rent increases caused by a luxury development. Domestic violence and state violence against women are also connected. 46% of women in prison are domestic violence survivors and 53% of women in prison experienced abuse as children.

Importantly, we are calling for a “women’s building,” rather than “women’s centre,” to emphasise that we need a permanent, not a temporary space where services can end whenever rents are increased, funds are cut, or providers are kicked out.

To read the article in full, visit the openDemocracy website.