A DOMESTIC abuse charity has lost £5million in funding because it is not gender-neutral.
Refuge and domestic abuse service Rise had its money pulled after 26 years.
Brighton council chiefs said an equality assessment found more support was needed for straight, gay and trans men — and Rise is mostly a women-only service.
Campaigners fear the decision will be echoed across the country, putting many women’s refuges at risk of closure.
Women’s Aid boss Nicki Norman, said: “We are deeply concerned.
“In this case the council said ‘the tender was intentionally non-gendered’ which meant that Rise, being primarily a service for women, went against them, even though they have a specialist LGBT service and could expand their services to include heterosexual men.
“We are at serious risk of losing our network of refuges run by women for women.”
Rise’s Brighton contract, worth £5.1million over seven years, will instead be split between Victim Support and Stonewater, a national social housing provider.
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They will cater for all genders.
Studies have found 91 per cent of domestic abuse is against women, who are much more likely to be seriously hurt or killed than male victims.
A petition protesting at Brighton and Hove city council’s decision has already been signed by more than 20,000 people.
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