Women’s Aid responds to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report

Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid:

“We are deeply concerned about the findings of the Commission on Race & Equality published today.

The facts are clear – Black and minoritised communities face racial disparities in the health system, schools, social care, employment and many more areas of society. This has been laid bare during Covid-19; Black and minoritised communities experienced the highest levels of death rates from the virus.

At the weekend we heard the mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry talk about why the killing of her daughters did not receive a public outcry. Now this report questions the concept of institutional racism altogether.

We see the impact of structural inequality clearly in our work to end violence against women and girls – Imkaan’s research has documented over decades how racism impacts Black and minoritised women experience’s violence and abuse, and their access to safety, support and justice.

We know it also has a direct impact of the services women need. Services led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women are at the sharpest end of the funding crisis facing the VAWG sector. This funding inequality means Black and minoritised women are routinely turned away from the specialist support they need.

Our No Woman Turned Away project shows that nearly half (43%) of the women who face barriers to accessing a refuge space were Black and minoritised women, reflecting the barriers and structural inequalities that they face when escaping domestic abuse.

The report talks about the need to examine the ‘agency’ of individuals and communities to ‘help themselves’. How is this relevant to Black and minoritised women who experience violence and abuse, face major barriers in securing safety and protection from the justice system, and are unable to access the specialist support services they need to escape and recover? Their voices are nowhere in this report.”

Follow the link to read a range of publications and resources from Imkaan: https://www.imkaan.org.uk/resources

© 2020 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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