What we’ve seen
At Maa Shanti we have found that our referral numbers are increasing having worked with over 120 women since April 2021 compared to 140 for the whole of the year before. Our attendance levels at our activities are at an all-time high with 721 attendances since April compared to 890 for the whole of 2020/21. Our community are also describing more complex and challenging circumstances. We are working with more mums who have been through human trafficking and modern slavery; forced into hiding by multiple perpetrators due to Honour Based Abuse, experiencing physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse. Women are fearful of racism, deportation, homelessness and worse as many have no recourse to public funds nor leave to remain in the UK. Women who do not speak English have been brought to the UK to marry men they have never met. They experience ongoing abuse and are made to feel that they have no rights and are not important as we work harder and harder to advocate for them and argue that their support needs are met.
What we do
We will continue to advocate for our clients, especially at a time when domestic abuse cases are on the rise, racist abuse is becoming more prevalent and resources are ever more scarce. We provide advocacy for clients in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali. On average women receive ongoing 1-1 advocacy support for 6-12 months whilst concurrently attending activities on a regular basis which continues for an average of 2-3 years. We keep cases open, regardless of the level of risk, but we continue to see an increase in more complex and higher risk cases. Between April and September we carried out initial assessments with 51 clients and provided 742 advocacy sessions to 73 women, 18 (25%) of them have experienced an improvement in their economic wellbeing, 57 (78%) have increased independence and knowledge and 70 (96%) describe an improvement in their confidence and well-being alongside a reduction in social isolation.
We invite you to stand with us in our work to eliminate violence against women. You can support us by raising awareness of our services, following us on Twitter, making a donation or simply telling someone you know about us if you think we could help. Our work continues now and beyond 16 days of activism.