This International Women's Day (8 March), we call for greater recognition that funding and commissioning remain major challenges for the BME ending VAWG sector. Specialist BME organisations are a critical element of ending VAWG work in the UK, and even when other providers and commissioners do not recognise their value, BME women continue to rely on specialist BME ending VAWG organisations. Despite this challenging landscape, many organisations continue to demonstrate great resilience and determination.
Imkaan's latest research is presented in our report, From Survival to Sustainability. These findings come at point when we are witnessing major political upheaval and uncertainty in the UK. The uncertainty around Brexit, the rise of the far right and the impacts of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy are particularly unsettling for the UK’s BME populations. At the same time issues such as sexual harassment have entered the public consciousness in unprecedented ways due to phenomenon such as #MeToo. We have witnessed the Westminster government u-turn around worrying proposals for supported housing reforms which would have had serious implications for refuge funding; while at the same time putting forward plans for a Domestic Abuse Bill which fails to consider the needs of the most marginalised women and girls, and which appears to fall outside of their own integrated VAWG framework.
Imkaan’s Alternative Bill offers a template for a transformative approach to addressing and ending violence against women and girls. This report, From Survival to Sustainability, highlights the need for this transformative approach.