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Day 10 - Gender Based Violence in BAME Communities

Part of the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Based Violence Campaign

Day Ten - GBV in BAME Communities. Content Warning: discussion of GBV, racism, forced marriage and F

CONTENT WARNING: discussion of GBV, racism, forced marriage and FGM

Women from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities face a significantly higher rate of gender based violence than non BAME women. In 2005, 59% of all homicides in London were of BME women. The ways in which they face violence can also be different with many facing FGM (female genital mutilation), honour violence by family members and forced marriage. If they are able to report the violence they also face barriers to access resources which understand or are equipped to help.

BAME women face structural inequalities within gender based violence. Statistics show that BAME women are arrested twice as often, domestic violence within BAME communities are under policed over fear of cultural insensitivity and practices including male translators for female victims all mean a significant lack of trust for the police to take gender based violence seriously.

BAME women also face institutional racism within services which are supposed to assist them including stereotyping and racist attitudes within other service users, within the workforce and at state level meaning even if women do seek out help they are often seeking inappropriate or ill equipped services. Statistics show a BAME woman has to contact services 11 times before receiving support.

Most BAME women fleeing violence have further structural barriers and social exclusions including high unemployment, poverty, poor housing, fear of being shunned by their communities, lack of access to education or training and inadequate translations of materials if they do not speak English. Many also have further complications of having fears over having their children removed and possible challenge to immigration status.

If you are a BAME facing gender based violence, or if you know someone who is, there are specialised resources which can help:

  • If you are facing forced marriage the forced marriage unit can provide support on 020 7008 0151.
  • There are also many support services listed online at Rise UK