Welcome to Women Against Rape’s Refuge from Rape & Destitution blog. Together with our partners, the All African Women’s Group, we are campaigning to highlight and end the injustices women face in the asylum system, and the government imposed destitution women suffer as a result. Global Women Against Deportation, which we are members of, have just launched a new report on destitution which is available here
Rape survivors who have escaped from persecution in their home country come to the UK with the hope of getting protection and safety. Yet many face stigma, discrimination and a hostile immigration environment which frequently makes it impossible to speak about what they have suffered and if they do, they are disparaged and dismissed. When rape victims are refused asylum their support and accommodation is withdrawn, leaving them destitute.
Our project aims to address this injustice by campaigning to remove key structural injustices that women victims in particular routinely face in their legal cases and highlight how destitution increases victims vulnerability to rape and sexual violence.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed women into life-threatening situations, leaving many in exploitative and abusive situations where they are dependent on others. We’ve focused on finding emergency help like food vouchers and other essentials and campaigning to prevent destitution and homelessness so that women aren’t forced to risk their own and others’ lives, and can follow public health guidelines.