Our Impact

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Led by and for Black and minoritised women, we provide holistic specialist services to some of society’s most marginalised victim-survivors of abuse. We combine crisis intervention with long term advocacy by developing comprehensive safety plans, facilitating access to legal advice and representation on issues ranging from family to immigration, securing support from key statutory and voluntary services such as the police, social services, housing authorities and refuges, and providing practical and emotional support such as counselling, peer support and psychotherapy. We adopt an intersectional approach to our work, paying close attention to the magnification of discrimination in the simultaneous experience of sex, race, class and other forms of structural inequalities.

Over 60% of the women who use our services are dealing with issues related to their immigration status, have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), and/or are facing destitution. Most have mental health and self-harm issues as a result of the trauma of abuse.

In 2023-24, we received 5,472 queries from service users and professionals across the UK through our helpline. During this period, 706 Black, minoritised and migrant women received support in relation to gender-based abuse (domestic abuse and other forms of cultural harm, such as forced marriage). Additionally, counselling sessions were provided to 100 women. The majority of these cases had interconnected issues such as immigration with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), mental health, homelessness, suicide and self-harm.

Our support group has organised services and activities for up to 182 women and their children. Women and children have participated in a variety of workshops, including a film-making workshop hosted by the University of East Anglia, a 12-week art and horticultural course at Kew Gardens, a 12-week art workshop open to both children and adults, and a creative long-term dance project for adults. Women and their children in the support group also visited the London Zoo, the theatre and the cinema, and took trips to Brighton, Bournemouth and Glasgow. We also provided weekly ESOL classes.

Our casework and helpline enquiries continue to have a 90% -100% satisfaction rate. We have a 100% success rate in immigration and asylum cases, preventing deportations and helping women and children rebuild their lives in the UK following abuse.

Policy and Campaigns

Our policy and campaigns work reflects the issues that victim-survivors face. It is informed by advocacy casework, and has a national impact in changing social, cultural and religious norms, and in influencing policy and practice as well as legal reform. In 2023-24, we continued to call for the legal reforms we achieved in previous years, namely the ‘Domestic Violence Indefinite Leave to Remain Rule’ and the ‘Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse Concession’ (formerly the ‘Destitute Domestic Violence Concession’), to be extended to all victim-survivors of domestic abuse, regardless of immigration status. We also continued to challenge institutional racism, sexism and the anti-migrant rhetoric through our policy and campaigns work.

In 2023-24, our legislative campaign focused on strengthening protections for victim-survivors with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) under the Victims and Prisoners Act. Though the Act excludes victim-survivors with NRPF, the campaign garnered great attention on social media and played an important role in the Bill’s parliamentary debate. We also advocated for Banaz’s Law under the Criminal Justice Bill to seek recognition of Honour-Based Abuse (HBA) as a statutory aggravating factor in sentencing for perpetrators.

The Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) pilot fund was set to end in March 2023, leaving victim-survivors in a precarious position. We campaigned for an extension, and the pilot was extended until March 2025 pending a permanent solution. Both, a Home Office produced evaluation report and an independent evaluation of the pilot commissioned by SBS and carried out by the London Metropolitan University’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, highlighted the fundamental importance of the SMV pilot. Throughout the year, we continued discussions with Home Office officials about a long-term solution, learning that the Home Office intended to extend the ‘Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse Concession‘ (formerly the ‘Destitute Domestic Violence Concession’) to partners of work and student visa holders. We led the resistance to this change, arguing that separating the Concession from the ‘Domestic Violence Indefinite Leave to Remain Rule’ would prevent many victim-survivors for coming forward for fear of deportation, and would leave victim-survivors on a cliff-edge after three months, putting them at risk of falling out of status.

Key to our work this year was the Covid-19 Inquiry. We were given core participant status on Module 2 of the Inquiry, examining the impact of the pandemic. We also made submissions to Module 1 examining government preparedness for the pandemic. Through our witness statement and the questions put forth by our legal representative at the oral evidence, we highlighted the disproportionate impact of the government’s response to the pandemic on Black, minoritised and migrant women.

In 2023-24, we were invited to participate in several forums aimed at tackling institutional racism. These included Operation Soteria, a landmark project aimed at making police investigations suspect focused and victim-survivor led. We are also a key member of the Operation Onyx scrutiny panel which reviews sexual offences and domestic violence cases from the last 10 years involving serving officers or staff where the allegation did not result in a dismissal at the time.

Between 2023-24, we also presented on the inequality and discrimination experienced by Black, minoritised and migrant women and submitted written input to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls. The Special Rapporteur’s initial findings following her UK visit accepted several SBS recommendations, including our calls for reform to no recourse to public funds (NRPF). In January 2024, we also participated in the GREVIO roundtable on the UK’s implementation of the Istanbul Convention and contributed to the Violence Against Women and Girls sector’s shadow report. On both occasions, we discussed the need for the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention in full, including by lifting the reservation on Article 59.

Our Annual Reports

2023-24 Annual Report

2023-24 Annual Report


Domestic Abuse Helpline

Contact our free and confidential helpline to speak with an expert advisor who will listen to you, offer non-judgmental advice and, when you’re ready, support you to make a plan.

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Domestic Abuse Casework

Southall Black Sisters provides holistic advocacy services aimed at helping Black and minoritised women live free from all forms of violence and abuse.

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SBS No Recourse fund

Our last-resort No Recourse Fund (NRF) provides a vital safety net for victim-survivors with NRPF to access refuge or safe accommodation in order to escape domestic and sexual abuse, prostitution and trafficking and harmful practices.

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