Solace statement on The Guardian reporting women’s refuges are turning away victims who speak no English.

As London’s main provider of refuge services and holistic frontline services for women and children escaping domestic abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG), Solace Women’s Aid works with and in solidarity with BAME women and those with insecure immigration status seeking safety from abuse.

Solace is proud to work with and alongside specialist Black and ethnic minority organisations and service providers, working directly with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised women disproportionately harmed by the governments Hostile Environment Policy at a time when Covid-19 is also disproportionately harming Black women and women of colour.

 “No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is putting women and children at further risk of violence, abuse, destitution, and hunger.”

“It is not only at the UK border or the English Channel where these harms manifest, people face these realities as they try and access healthcare, shelter and safety from abuse. Solace calls on Home Secretary Priti Patel to immediately end NRPF and the systemic and racialised harm faced by Black and minoritised women”

said Judith Banjoko, Director of Services from Solace Women’s Aid.

Solace sees how huge cuts to services over the past ten years is putting victims and survivors at risk.

These cuts are impacting people’s ability to access lifesaving services including refuge services because these cuts don’t take account of the real cost of professional interpretation.

Solace always provides interpreters to everyone accessing our accommodation and community services and this normally means 20% of women entering our refuges need such vital help

Solace calls on the VAWG sector to carry out an urgent action orientated review of the barriers facing women who don’t speak English from accessing women’s refuges.

Solace calls on the Government to properly fund VAWG services and to end the relentless round of competitive tendering which fails to address the issues of a quality service.  Smaller organisations cannot hope to provide interpretation when it is not funded explicitly within contracts.

Solace calls on Home Secretary Priti Patel to immediately end NRPF for all migrants.