Black minority ethnic and refugee women, domestic violence and access to housing

Author(s): Aisha Gill ;   Baljit Banga;  

Briefing series: Better Housing Briefing Paper 9

Publisher: Race Equality Foundation

Publication date: October 2008

Downloads:

Black minority ethnic and refugee women, domestic violence and access to housing
Share this

There is evidence that people from black, minority ethnic and refugee backgrounds find it difficult to access services, and are less likely to be aware of housing options available to them (Netto et al., 2001). This is particularly apparent for minority ethnic women experiencing domestic violence, who may face  barriers to services based on their gender, ethnicity and social status, which are exacerbated by obstacles to reporting abuse, such as protecting family honour or normalising and accepting violence. A lack of specialist refuge spaces and an absence of clear guidelines for involving specialist agencies in policy, service development and evaluation means that there is often low recognition of domestic violence within housing policy.

Key messages:

  • The specialist women's domestic violence sector and its black and minority ethnic service users are not consulted enough by statutory services. There is an absence of clear guidelines for involving them in policy, service development and evaluation
  • There is low recognition of domestic violence within housing policy, which can disproportionately affect black and minority ethnic women
  • There needs to be provision to meet women's housing needs
  • There needs to be an evaluation framework that assesses how women's housing needs are being met and the ways in which housing will be sustained
  • There should be mandatory and specialist domestic violence training for the statutory sector, linked to performance indicators and frameworks
  • A comprehensive, (w)holistic approach to ending violence against women needs to be developed, which ensures an adequate and sustainable investment in violence prevention work.

Sections:

  • Lack of consultation in policy development and implementation
  • Low recognition of domestic violence in housing policy
  • Provision to meet women's local housing needs
  • A framework to assess how housing needs are met
  • Specialist and mandatory domestic violence training
  • A (w)holistic approach to ending violence against women