SISTERS FOR CHANGE
works to combat violence against women and girls through legal empowerment programmes, legislative reform and legal advocacy. GMSP partnered with Sisters For Change to conduct a legal research and advocacy project across the UK to show what can be done to adequately support women from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community. The purpose of the report is to mobilise more funding and create social policy change to reflect the needs of BAME women.
frontline staff trained
BAME frontline service
Violence against women is a nationwide
problem in the UK, yet some groups will face more obstacles than others when trying to escape their abusers. Women from BAME groups who are dealing with domestic violence are forced to confront a series of complex social, economic and cultural barriers when trying to get help. Around 40 per cent of BAME women live in poverty and 50 per cent experience domestic violence from multiple perpetrators. Some, whose immigration status is precarious, are too scared to approach the authorities. Some may not speak English. Others fear being shunned by their family and community if they leave home.
Despite the growing visibility of BAME women, there is still a fundamental lack of understanding of the social and cultural factors they have to contend with. The support they receive should sensitively and efficiently respond to their specific needs. Instead, funding cuts that have affected all gender violence charities across the UK have hit BAME specialist services the hardest. Today, nine out of ten local authorities have no specialist BAME services.
Sisters For Change, in partnership with BAME organisations across England, has conducted a legal and national advocacy research project that maps the way public authorities are responding to BAME women victims of violence.
The report, entitled “Unequal Regard, Unequal Protection”, which is aimed at government officials, policy makers and all those involved in the protection of vulnerable women, evaluates current funding services dedicated to violence against women in the BAME community across six local authorities in England. It recommends legislative and policy changes needed to improve their protection and looks at problems in the implementation of current laws and strategies. It is the most extensive analysis of its kind to date.