BAMER stands for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee. Sheffield DACT has been set up with the aim of supporting BAMER people experiencing abuse and to make it easier to get help.
Domestic abuse is when anyone in your family, hurts, threatens or bullies you and can include husbands, wives, parents and parents-in-law, daughters, sons and members of your extended family. It happens in all cultures at similar rates, but people from BAMER communities experiencing domestic abuse can find it even harder to find support and can experience additional barriers:
If you are scared of someone in your family, you can ring the Sheffield DACT Helpline on 0808 808 2241 anonymously. They can tell you about services in Sheffield and about refuge spaces for women outside Sheffield (including specialist Black and Asian services). You may fear that agencies are unsympathetic or racist, but the Helpline and other Sheffield DACT services are confidential and will believe you. Sheffield DACT will listen to you, give you advice and support to make your own decisions. The Helpline workers will not judge you, your community or your religion.
You may prefer to talk to someone from your culture or feel safer speaking to a worker from outside your community. We will always try to work with you in the way you prefer.
We understand that, if you can’t speak or read English fluently it is much harder to find out what services are available to access them. If you can’t speak English, we will provide interpreters in your own language or have information translated. On Wednesdays between 10am-1pm Sheffield DACT helpline has a Punjabi, Urdu and Mirpuri speaker.
Honour and Shame
Shame is a big influence for all domestic abuse survivors, whatever their background, and it may prevent you from telling someone about the abuse or from leaving. In some Sheffield families, women and girls can be expected to live within strict roles to maintain their family’s reputation or ‘izzat’. Workers on the Sheffield DACT helpline and at specialist domestic and sexual abuse organisations are very experienced and well-trained and will understand these pressures. They will not be shocked by anything you tell them and will not judge or blame you or your culture.
If you are dependent on your husband or wife for your right to stay in the UK, then you are in a very vulnerable situation if the relationship is abusive and your status can be used against you. If your immigration status is insecure, you may be too scared to access services for fear of being deported, or may be unable to access services because you have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’.
No Recourse to Public Funds
Women (and men) who enter the UK on Spousal Visas must be supported by their partner for 2 years and have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) in that time and can’t claim benefits. The Domestic Violence Rule of 2002 means that if you leave your partner during those 2 years and can prove domestic abuse was the cause, you can apply to remain in the UK in your own right. We recognise that if you have NRPF it is harder to get a place in a refuge, because refuges need residents to claim housing benefit and income support to cover their living and accommodation costs, but we will try hard to get you to a place of safety if that’s what you need. Other services (such as outreach support, floating support, IDVAS and domestic and sexual abuse organisations can still support you (details on the support for women and support for men pages), and will work with you to get legal help with your application to stay in the UK. You can also claim Public Funding for legal advice from solicitors, even if you have NRPF, so may be able to get legal protection.
Sheffield DACT Helpline: 0808 808 2241
Roshni Asian Women’s Resource Centre: 250 8898
Ashiana Sheffield : 255 5740