Afghanistan and Central Asian Association supports BAME families affected by domestic violence.
The Coronavirus pandemic has placed individuals at risk of domestic violence, as lockdowns mean people are unable to leave their home. Living under a range of restrictions has impacted on our everyday lives and has unfortunately resulted in more domestic abuse support being needed.
This situation has been brought to light by the supportive work of the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, which helps people who may not know where to turn or how to get support and a way out of domestic violence. Those most at risk include vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and BAME families in Doncaster. Being from a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community can be isolating, particularly when you are living in a different country, where you don’t speak the language and don’t know where to turn for help. It can also be very frightening, when the relationship you are in is a dangerous one and you are the victim of domestic violence.
The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association runs a website and a telephone advice line, offering support to people through the current Coronavirus situation. Support is available in a range of languages including Dari, Pashtu, Farsi, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi and includes advice and information on a wide range of issues, including counselling and reassurance, social contact, assistance and advocacy with financial issues, benefits, guidance and support to victims of domestic violence, citizenship applications, mental health advice and signposting to relevant health services, where necessary.
So far, over 855 people have been supported by this service, including Rabia. This is her story and how she has been helped by the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association:
‘I am a victim of domestic abuse for over 3 years. I have been living in an abusive relationship since I married. Since lockdown, my situation got worse and I felt like I was imprisoned by my husband as he would use the lockdown as a justification to stop me from leaving the house. His abuse has increased and I have been experiencing extreme depression and distress over his level of verbal and physical abuse. I couldn’t tolerate it any longer.
‘I cannot speak English and I am only able to speak Dari. I decided to finally seek help to get myself away from this abuse. I contacted the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, who were very supportive and responded to my concerns straight away. They spoke to me about the support they could offer over the telephone and provided legal advice. They also helped me connect with the police and provided a three-way translation service with the police and introduced me to refuge shelters
‘I am so thankful for the support I have been provided with which helped me to leave this abusive relationship. I don’t know where I would be without their support, probably still living in huge suffering. I am now free from the domestic abuse of my partner and this has really helped me improve my confidence, mental health and reduced my distress hugely. I am still benefiting from the telephone advice service’.
For further information and details of the support available from the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, please visit the website or email email@example.com or telephone: 0208 572 0300. The office is open Monday-Friday from 9:30am–5pm and on Saturdays from 1pm-4pm.