Frankie Favia

SBS International Women’s Day 2024 Appeal

This International Women’s Day, stand up for victim-survivors of domestic abuse

7 March 2024 – 31 March 2024

Even just a £2 donation from you could be the difference between a victim-survivor with access to basic necessities and one without.

Southall Black Sisters have been helping me with accommodation and allowance. But it is really difficult along with two teenage children. It makes my choices very difficult, whether I should buy them food, three meals per day, or should I buy them their basic necessities. It is really difficult to make such choice as cost of living keeps on increasing.
– Rosa*[i]

Southall Black Sisters have helped me a lot, and in another way they help is giving me £60. Even though that’s a really generous offer, I don’t think that any human being can live on it. Like you have to buy travel, food, clothes and I don’t think that’s enough for any human being.
– Haleema*[i]

It is incredibly difficult for victim-survivors to escape abusive relationships. They do so, often, at peril to their lives. However, despite taking such a huge step, many victim-survivors are faced with destitution upon escape. Forced to make numerous difficult decisions daily as a result, several contemplate going back to their abuser. For migrant women with insecure immigration status and No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), this choice is even starker, where their only options often seem to be domestic abuse or destitution and deportation.

Over the last 45 years, we, at Southall Black Sisters (SBS), have supported Black, minoritised and migrant women fleeing abuse with the aim of empowering them to rebuild their lives. Though our funding aids us in service provision and helps us provide victim-survivors a vital safety net, more money is needed for longer for it to be enough.

More than a decade of austerity, the government’s refusal to scrap NRPF and a devastating lack of long-term, sustainable funding poses a serious challenge to our ability to support our service users. Several of our services continue to be provided in kind and we pay out of pocket for various costs for victim-survivors. This is despite the shortfall in funding for specialist services [ii] and the rise in the cost-of-living.    

This International Women’s Day (IWD), express your solidarity by standing up for the victim-survivors of domestic abuse who are falling through the cracks. Your donations can help us ensure that victim-survivors have access to basic necessities such as nutritious food, personal hygiene products, SIM cards, blankets, shoes and warm clothes for them and their children, travel cards, and dental treatment. Your donations can also help us fund emergency accommodation for one or more nights for victim-survivors fleeing abuse.   

Solidarity goes a long way, so let IWD 2024 mark a period of giving and making a tangible difference.

Indicative costs for certain basic necessities your donations could be contributing towards are:

£3.50 – one week supply of sanitary products
£8 – emergency toiletries kit
£10 – phone credit/SIM card
£11 – one cotton bath towel
£20 – a supermarket shopping voucher
£35 – a suitcase for a victim-survivor fleeing abuse
£45 – one 1-1 counselling session for a victim-survivor
£65 – £70 – one month’s travel card costs for a victim-survivor
£120 – one weekend in emergency accommodation
£250 – a refurbished laptop to enable a victim-survivor (whose own devices have been compromised) to work or study.

[i] Victim-survivors’ names have been anonymised to protect their identity. 

[ii] See, Women and Equalities Committee, So-called Honour-based Abuse (HC 831, Sixth Report of Session 2022-23) para 61; Domestic Abuse Commissioner, A Patchwork of Provision: How to Meet the Needs of Victims and Survivors across England and Wales (2022) p. 43, pp. 58-59; Imkaan, Letter to Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP: The Comprehensive Spending Review and Funding for the Ending Violence Against Black And Minoritised Women and Girls Sector (30th September 2021); Southall Black Sisters, Written Evidence from Southall Black Sisters [HBA0051] (2023).

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