Post by Salma Claussnitzer
Did you know that 50% of Specialist Refuge Providers led by and for black and minority ethnic women (BME) have disappeared in the last 10 years?
While public funding for shelters is decreasing at an alarming rate, violence is not. Due to government cuts, many refuges are facing closure and this threatens lives. Women and children trying to break free from violent partners, child abusers and sex traffickers, have fewer and fewer spaces to go. The sector is in crisis.
Small, community organisations like ours are being hit the hardest. Our unique refuge which is the only one for Latin American women and their children in Europe, is not commissioned by any council, so we have to work twice as hard to keep it running.
More and more women continue to arrive at our door; women we simply don’t have the resources to accommodate and we consistently find ourselves having to find other solutions to help her. We do this because we believe that the system is unjust and deeply flawed. At the moment on average only 1 out of 5 BME Women are able to access a refuge when they are trying to flee from the horrors of domestic violence. What happens to those other 4 women? Often they are left with only two options: the streets or staying an abusive relationship, risking their lives and those of their children.
“If I hadn’t been for LAWA’s Refuge, I’m not sure I would still be here today” (Lucia from Bolivia)
If like us, you believe that we urgently need to ensure ALL survivors have a safe place to flee to, regardless of the colour of their skin, their migration status or their religion, please support our crowdfunding campaign to save our services and protect our safe spaces. Every little bit makes a difference and with your help we can make a lasting change, one life at a time.