Destitute female asylum seekers demanding justice for #UsToo

Letters                                                                                                                   Wed 13 Jun 2018

Becky Titah and Sian Evans of Women Against Rape speak up for women

Thank you to Frances Ryan for shining a spotlight on the horrifying levels of destitution deliberately inflicted by the government on so many people in the UK, including through the “low level of benefits received by migrants” (Destitution by design is ruining lives – we need to end this disgrace, 7 June). Our Refuge from Rape and Destitution Campaign highlights the lesser-known impact of destitution on women asylum seekers: forced to rely on working for free as “domestics” or sex with men offering a bed for the night.

Over 100 women asylum seekers come to our women’s centre each fortnight and we work together to draw out the impact of the trauma and stigma of rape and other sexual violence; we challenge sexist judges when they refuse to abide by their own gender guidelines, and in doing have helped women win the right to asylum and safety in UK.

“Hostile environment” government policies mean women are forced into illegality to survive, are spied on by landlords and banks, detained and deported by being deliberately denied the right to appeal in the courts. The Windrush scandal has helped expose the pain and suffering of deportation. The groundswell of public outrage has strengthened their demand to be granted the immediate right to stay. Women asylum seekers fleeing rape and other torture, war and devastation, are demanding #UsToo.

Becky Titah and Sian Evans
Women Against Rape

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