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Saheli Asian Womens Project


Saheli Asian Women's Project. Dr Sundari Anitha. Saheli ... It was one of the first Asian Women's Refuge in North West. ... young Asian Women. Saheli: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Saheli Asian Womens Project

  • Saheli Asian Womens Project
  • Dr Sundari Anitha

  • Saheli provides emergency temporary refuge
    accommodation to South Asian Women and their
    children who are fleeing domestic abuse.

Objectives of Saheli
  • To provide emergency accommodation to South Asian
    Women experiencing domestic abuse.
  • To provide emotional and practical support to
    empower the women to make positive decisions for
    themselves and their children.
  • Resettlement support for women who have been
    re-housed in the community.

  • To provide support,counselling, advice and
    advocacy to women within the refuge accommodation
    as well as support to their children.
  • To provide outreach support and advice to women
    and children surviving domestic abuse within
    local communities.

Target populations Saheli works with
  • Saheli works with South Asian Women and these
    include women from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh.
  • The women Saheli works with face overlapping
    dimensions of disadvantage and discrimination on
    grounds on ethnicity, gender and class.
  • Structural inequalities facing these women are in
    some instances also reinforced by state policy as
    in the case of women with no recourse to public

Over the years the project has achieved the
  • Saheli was set up in 1976.
  • It was one of the first Asian Women's Refuge in
    North West.
  • Saheli currently receives between 350 to 400
    calls from Asian Women seeking information,
    advice and support.

Sahelis work
  • Developed and established a purpose build refuge
    that is fully accessible.
  • The establishment of aftercare and outreach
    project Hosla
  • Involvement in deportation campaigns as well as
    other campaigns that focus on the rights of women
    and children.
  • Conducted research on experience of recent
    marriage migrants who have survived domestic

Forgotten Women Domestic Violence, Poverty and
South Asian Women with No Recourse to Public
  • The research findings highlight experiences of
    South Asian Women who have survived domestic
    abuse and have no recourse to public funds,
  • Destitution, poverty and deprivation
  • Social isolation
  • Impact on psychological and physical health
  • Inconsistent and variable nature of service
    provision and service responses to women with NRPF

Destitution, poverty and deprivation
  • Income poverty
  • All the women in this study who had NRPF and had
    left the abusive relationship were living in dire
    poverty and deprivation, struggling to meet basic
    needs such as adequate food, warm clothing,
    travel expenses and medicines.
  • Accommodation quality, safety and security of
  • Women who received no support from their Local
    Authority were facing destitution and were living
    on the charity of friends, family members or
    strangers who had taken them in, making them
    extremely vulnerable to further exploitation and

Social Isolation
  • Nearly 50 of the women who had left the abusive
    relationship had no contact with family or
    friends in the two weeks prior to the interview.
  • Reasons include lack of any informal sources of
    support in the UK, being disowned by family for
    leaving the marriage, fear of being traced, lack
    of funds to visits friends or speak to family in
    the subcontinent.
  • Compounded by lack of access to specialist
    services that can meet their language needs.

Impact on psychological and physical health
  • A majority of the women reported one or more of
    these symptoms - suicidal thoughts, suicide
    attempts, extreme fears, anxiety and panic
    attacks, depression, eating and sleeping
  • Very limited access to specialist mental health
  • Of the women who were not receiving any support
    from LAs two-thirds did not have access to GPs.
  • Women reported that their mental health problems
    were compounded by social isolation and the lack
    of appropriate services.

Inconsistent and variable nature of service
provision and service responses to women with NRPF
  • Women made repeated attempts to contact services
    despite the additional and significant barriers
    they faced in doing so.
  • However, it took most women several contacts with
    services to receive the help they needed and many
    women had not yet received such help despite
    several attempts to access support.
  • Twenty eight women had contacted an average of
    four services each, some of whom did so after
    they left the abusive relationship. These service
    contacts do not include repeated contacts of the
    same services.

Saheli Challenges ahead
  • The challenges have been many and multi fold.
  • We look back at our struggle and our survival
    and have to indeed hold our heads up in pride.

Saheli challenges ahead
  • The biggest challenge for Saheli is to continue
    to provide a very unique and specialist service
    to Asian Women and Children and to survive as an
    independent organisation
  • To involve residents and ex residents in policy
    formation and in different aspect of our work and
    to take the voice of the service users to the
    policy makers.
  • To develop services for young Asian Women.

Saheli challenges ahead
  • We would like to continue to campaign against the
    two year rule, for women with no recourse to
    public funds so that the women survivors are not
    left in violent situations simply because of the
    hold of their partners have on them as a result
    of the collusion of the state.