Response to the “Keep Apna Haq Open” campaign
Wednesday 23rd September 2015
Women’s Aid values and supports specialist BME women’s domestic violence organisations. BME services have a track record in delivering quality specialist support to BME women and children survivors of abuse.
BME women are more likely to experience domestic violence for longer, and the violence is more likely to escalate to a much more serious level before they seek help. In addition, women’s BME services are being disproportionately affected by funding issues. It is vital that BME women have a known, culturally-specific organisation in their community where they can get help from other BME women who understand the complexities of their situation and the additional barriers they face. Such organisations address unmet need and prevent harms that would prove costly and dangerous to victims if their services disappeared.
As a specialist BME women’s organisation, Apna Haq plays an essential part in addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) and has over twenty years’ experience of supporting victims of domestic violence, forced marriage, honour-based violence, childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, sexual exploitation, racial harassment and social exclusion. Apna Haq offers unique expertise in meeting the safety, linguistic, cultural and health and wellbeing needs of its service users, and is an invaluable resource for both the local community and the national domestic violence sector.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Women’s Aid calls on Rotherham Borough Council to seek a solution that ensures the survival of this unique grassroots organisation and its life-saving services, and offers our support to the efforts to keep Apna Haq open.”