Latin American Women’s Aid runs the only refuges in Europe and in the UK by and for Latin American women and children fleeing gender-based violence. We also provide advice and support services.
We know that the coronavirus pandemic has increased the vulnerability of women trapped in violent relationships. You can call us at 020 7275 0321 or chat with us through the online chat using the chat icon on the right low side if this is safe for you. If it is not safe to speak or text, here you can find tools that will help you to stay safer at home:
Are you experiencing violence?
- Is your partner excessively jealous and possessive?
- Do they have sudden changes of mood? Do they treat you affectionately and abuse you later on?
- Do they forbid you from seeing your friends and family?
- Do they forbid you to study English or work outside of the house?
- Do they threaten to report you to immigration control if you leave him?
- Do they constantly criticize and put you down in public? Do they tell you that you’re useless or that they cannot put up with you?
- Do they control your money?
- Do they tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, or what to think?
- Do they force you to have sex even when you have said no?
- Do you act in a “more careful” way to prevent your partner from getting angry?
- Has your partner ever threatened you or intimidated you? Have they used violent language or damaged the furniture, and the walls in anger?
- Do you feel forced to alter your behaviour because you are frightened of your partner’s reaction?
- Does your partner blame you for their behaviour? For example, do they say you were “asking for it” or that you deserved the abuse?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then you may be experiencing domestic violence. We promise you that it is NOT your fault and that you can seek help so you don’t have to go through this situation alone.
There are many forms of violence and we want to help you identifying if you’re experiencing it at home CLICK HERE to find more about different forms of violence:
This is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the person or puts the person at risk of being injured. Physical abuse ranges from physical restraint to murder. Physical assault or physical battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside a family or outside the family.
Verbal or nonverbal abuse (psychological abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse)
Mental, psychological, or emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or intimate partner consists of more subtle actions or behaviors than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep.
Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse; they may occur together, or the sexual abuse may occur after about of physical abuse. It includes non-consensual intercourse, even if married, forcing you to look at pornography or limiting/controlling your reproductive choices.
stalking or cyberstalking
Stalking is harassment of or threatening another person, especially in a way that haunts the person physically or emotionally in a repetitive and devious manner. Stalking of an intimate partner can take place during the relationship, with intense monitoring of the partner’s activities, or it can take place after a partner or spouse has left the relationship. The stalker may be trying to get their partner back, or they may wish to harm their partner as punishment for their departure. Regardless of the fine details, the victim fears for their safety. Stalking can take place at or near the victim’s home, near or in their workplace, on the way to the store or another destination, or on the Internet (cyberstalking). Stalking can be on the phone, in person, or online.
economic abuse or financial abuse
It can include withholding economic resources such as money or credit cards, stealing from or defrauding a partner of money or assets, exploiting the intimate partner’s resources for personal gain, withholding physical resources such as food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner, preventing the spouse or intimate partner from working or choosing an occupation.
It can include using the spouse’s or intimate partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate them, preventing the partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs, ridiculing the other person’s religious or spiritual beliefs or forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the partner has not agreed to.
At LAWA we offer you the following services:
We run two refuges, Chia house and Jaci house, in confidential locations. They are both only for Black and Minority Ethnic women and children, providing a safe space for recovery and growth with a friendly and professional staff team. Through a holistic and person-centred approach we offer individually tailored emotional and practical support plans according to each woman and child’s intersectional needs. Our refuges are spaces for new beginnings, hope and healing.
Call us or come to our offices if you are seeking for a refuge space.
To access this service, you can call us or come to one of our weekly drop-in on Tuesdays between 09:30am and 12:00pm.
LAWA’s in house counselling service provides psychotherapy support in Portuguese, Spanish and English. We adopt a culturally sensitive, trauma focused approach that supports women to recover their mental and emotional health and general wellbeing. Ultimately, our counselling aims to empower women to recover their self-confidence and take control over their own lives. Counselling sessions are free and individual. They provide a safe, confidential, non-judgmental environment for you to express and reflect on your problems, the suffering that violence has left in your life and those around you. To access this service, please contact us through our advice and support centre.
We also run a crèche service during English classes to enable mothers to attend classes. Both services are completely free of charge.
Based on theoretical frameworks of black intersectional feminism and Latin American Communitarian Feminism and using popular education methodologies (See; Judge; and Act) the program encompasses workshops, alternated with outings, and group attendance to community events and actions. Some workshops are foreseen to be co-delivered by participants to foster peer-to-peer support and empower them to become multipliers. In addition to creating a safe space to share personal experiences, the programme promotes a culture of solidarity, sisterhood, personal and collective empowerment which ultimately lead women to become change makers.
For more information about our programme, contact Carolina Cal, our Change Maker and Community Engagement Officer, at the following email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAHA aims to address Black and monitory ethnic women’s intersecting pressures of poverty, homelessness and gender violence through promoting changes in housing policy and practice in the UK using a rights-based approach. It is a policy but also a frontline project advising, representing and supporting survivors to make appeals and secure safe and appropriate accommodation, in an environment free from violence and intimidation.
Our ultimate goal is to work with policy makers and practitioners to affect change to ensure the housing needs of BME survivors are met. We envisage a world where no woman will be forced to endure abuse for fear of becoming homeless, where women fleeing violence are able to access their rights to safe accommodation without that process furthering the cycle of abuse.
We also provide specialized counselling services for children in their own language.