We recently read with great disappointment a Guardian article from 9th August 2020 about many BAMER women being turned away from domestic violence refuges because they do not speak English.
We are so fortunate in Brighton and Hove that local commissioners recognise the needs of our diverse population. SIS supports local domestic violence charity RISE, with interpreting and bilingual social prescribing, to work with many domestic violence survivors from BAMER communities. Whilst RISE pay for many of the language services through their own fundraising efforts, SIS is also able to help with some free sessions, through a discretionary grant provided by our commissioners specifically to ensure equality of access to voluntary sector organisations.
“Through SIS I was able to book all my weekly appointments with my client. SIS provided face-to-face and over the phone appointments, they were both flexible and accommodating to our needs. We were able to have the same interpreter each week which made a huge difference … The impact these free sessions have had has made a real difference to our recipients and to the local community. We were able to complete a full referral for one client who was then accepted into refuge and we were able to meet the practical needs of our clients during case work by discussing issues such as immigration status and legal aid. Not only this but through these sessions we were able to explore the impact of domestic violence for our clients, and offer ongoing emotional support around this.” Eilish Jones, Domestic Abuse Case Worker
RISE has a well thought through strategy for supporting BAMER individuals which includes a dedicated section of their website rise/get-help/about-domestic-abuse/bme and translated leaflets about emergency support especially during COVID.