Housing association to continue providing services for abused Asian women
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Health
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A housing association is to continue providing services at a refuge for Asian women who are suffering domestic abuse.
Raglan Housing has announced that it will be continuing its working partnership with both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils to provide services at Santosh Women’s Refuge.
Raglan has been running the refuge since 2008 and was the preferred bidder when the two councils retendered the contract in December.
The HA's project manager at the refuge is delighted at the news. She said: "For many Asian women leaving a partner is an act of shame and dishonour with far reaching social, family and other consequences. The situation is often compounded by limited or no knowledge of English, legal rights and a limited or no understanding of the resources available.
"Raglan recognises the importance of providing a place of safety in which Asian women will find an understanding of their traditions and cultural and religious practises. At Santosh, they have the support of other women who are in the same situation and of skilled and empathetic staff."
The Santosh Refuge provides a place of safety for South Asian Women and children fleeing from home because of actual or threatened abuse by their partners or others.
The refuge has room for up to six women and their children. Each family has their own bedroom and shares other facilities, such as the lounge, kitchen and bathrooms.
To March last year, 125 referrals were made to the refuge. Out of these, 22 women and 20 children were accepted and a further 108 signposted to other agencies.
The type of abuse suffered by the majority of the women included emotional and psychological, alongside physical, sexual and financial abuse.
Other forms of abuse also included entrapment, isolation, neglect, threats of deportation and threats to kill, honour-based violence and forced marriage.
The majority of the women stay in the refuge for around six months, during which time they receive practical and emotional support to help them to make informed decisions about their future and to build self esteem so that they are able to maintain their independence.
Cllr Colleen Atkins, executive member for adults services at Bedford Borough Council, said: "A specialist refuge centre enables women to move forward with their lives, in a safe place where they are understood. What also helps to restore a woman’s self-worth is when she lives beside other women who are in a similar position. This has a powerful effect on an individual. They can get the breathing space they so desperately need, and receive support for the emotional and psychological effects of abuse plus help in relation to securing benefits, housing, getting their children into school, and much more."