On the 21st of May, the Step Up Migrant Women coalition led by LAWRS organised a conference co-hosted with the London’s Victims Commissioner, Claire Waxman to present the key findings of the ‘Right to be believed’ research. In partnership with Prof Cathy McIlwaine from Kings College London, our key findings included:
- 2 in 3 migrant women felt that they would not be believed.
- More than half believed that the police would side with the perpetrator.
- The most commonly cited factor preventing them from reporting was fear of deportation
At the conference, Claire Waxman stated “The ‘hostile environment’ is being used by perpetrators to keep victims trapped. I want to make sure victims’ voices are heard in the VAWG startegies. I stand by the recommendations made by the Right to Believe study”
Survivors from migrant and refugee backgrounds at the conference stated that safety should be prioritised over immigrant control, that they wanted to be free from the hostile environment in order to live a life without perpetrator or state control.
Recommendations from frontline organisations such as LAWRS, Imece Women’s centre, London Black Women’s Project, Southall Black Sisters and Women for Refugee Women in the conference alligned with the ones in the report:
End the Hostile envirnoment policies towards immigrants. Upholding human right of people above immigration enforcement.
Ensure safe reporting mechanisms and end to data-sharing between support services and the Home Office
Domestic Abuse Bill to comply with the Istanbul Convention to not discriminate women survivors from refuge provision or access to justice.
The conference ended with the Nawi Collective, a London-based black women and femmes vocal collective and sang collectively about social justice and human rights.
These are some photos of the conference Right to be believed: