Thank you for considering to donate towards LAWA’s life-saving work.

Giving to Latin American Women’s Aid means supporting the only specialized service in Refuge and prevention of domestic violence against women and children, targeting the UK’s Latin American community. Estimated at around 250,000 people and one of the most marginalized ethnic minorities in the country, the women who represent the highest percentage. We’ve worked with thousands of women affected by violence over the last 30 years, and with your support we can continue to keep our vital services running. Whatever you are able to give will make a huge difference to the lives of the women and children we work with.

Why support LAWA?

Our work changes lives

With significantly high numbers of women affected by domestic violence in the UK, services for ethnic minority women, who are significantly more likely to stay in abusive relationships due to a lack of confidence in speaking English amongst other factors, are more vital than ever before.

Juana’s story

Juana is just one woman, along with her two daughters, who received support from LAWA to escape her violent husband after a decade of abuse:

If I would have known that LAWA existed before, I would probably not have waited so long to leave my husband. The refuge staff helped me a lot; I had a place to stay with my daughters. I was petrified of getting a non-molestation order and a prohibited steps order against my husband because I feared further violence. but with LAWA’s support i got the courage to obtain them.

I will never forget when the refuge worker told me ‘this is the beginning of a new life, probably not easy; but believe me, once you realise how powerful you can be, you will never go back’

Today I feel beautiful, confident and in control of my own life. I am going forward and no one will ever take away my freedom or my daughters’ spirit again.

Thank you very much LAWA.

What difference will your donation make?

The majority of the women we work with did not believe they were entitled to support in leaving an abusive relationship before we reached them.

  • 98% of our service users believed our support made a positive difference to their lives.
  • 85% of women who used our advice services state that they would not have been able to exit their violent relationships had it not been for LAWA’s support.
  • 65% of our service users were not confident to get help from mainstream support services prior to accessing LAWA support.
  • 122 statutory and voluntary agencies we have worked with since 2014 stated that they would have struggled to support Latin American women without LAWA’s intervention.

Why have a specialised service for Latin American and Black and Minority Ethnicity women and children?

We meet BME women’s complex and diverse needs through one service in the women’s native languages. We cover legal, economical and family issues they may face. Women are therefore less likely to return to our service as frequently as they would to a generic service as their needs are being met holistically and efficiently.

Because LAWA and our partners have specialist knowledge of issues affecting Latin American and BME women, we can understand the extent and the impact of culturally specific forms of violence such as so-called honour based violence, religious oppression, forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM), which are often misunderstood by mainstream services.

The Latin American community in the UK faces specific challenges that require specialist knowledge to reach women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Invisibility – Just under 200,000 Latin Americans live in the UK, of which 113,500 are recorded as living in London alone. However this community continues to be disproportionally marginalised as it is less visible than other BME (Black Minority Ethnic) groups and rarely accounted for in official statistics. On local and national census forms the category “Latin American” does not feature.

Discrimination and exploitation at work – The largely young and well educated population has very high employment rates at 85% (which is higher than the average migrant community employment rate which is around 55%). However 40% of Latin Americans are experiencing workplace abuse and exploitation.

Low take up of mainstream support – Despite lower than average incomes, take-up of public services and state benefits is low: one in five Latin Americans have never been to a GP and only one in five receive some form of welfare benefit.

Discrimination in the UK – The majority of Latin Americans (70%) in the UK, including second generation, perceives discrimination to be a major barrier to improving their quality of life.

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