Black Minority and Ethnic (BME) Women
Black and Blue
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone; it is no respecter of age, class, religion, gender or race. Nevertheless, women from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities face additional challenges and dangers.
Internal religious and cultural dynamics combine with external barriers like racism, immigration/asylum laws, poverty, social and institutional bias, indifference and ignorance of different cultures, to further marginalise and disempower BME women. They may experience specific forms of domestic and sexual violence such as forced marriage, FGM, and honour and dowry-related violence. Many BME women, especially older women, are further isolated in their homes and communities, due to cultural traditions and language barriers, which make it harder for them to seek help.
Very often, if their immigration status in the UK is unsettled (as in the case of migrant women and those seeking asylum), they may well have no recourse to public funds. Which means that, if they leave their abuser, they cannot pay for basic needs like housing and food for themselves and their children. They may also be detained in holding centres, which makes escape from the abuser impossible. A lack of clarity in statutory guidance with regard to immigration status can sometimes limit the ability of the police, social services and health services to protect and assist abuse victims and their children.
All women have the right to live without abuse. Border Women’s Aid, working closely with other organisations and services, is here to help and empower ALL women in the Scottish Borders, whatever their background, by providing advice, a safe place to stay (if needed), and on-going support to help find a better life.