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The pandemic has exposed the harsh reality for migrant women in the UK and the rights they’ve been losing for years. From the prospect of becoming undocumented after Brexit and the unlawful evictions asylum-seekers are facing to the cruelty of ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF), an immigration condition that essentially forces some women to choose between destitution and staying with the abuser. When you add gender-based violence to this experience, the hostility seems almost insurmountable.
As part of our work to improve women’s experiences of the justice system, we have published a survey to hear from women who have reported stalking to the police in Scotland and their journey through the criminal justice process.
Stalking is a common form of abuse for women in Scotland, particularly for those living with domestic abuse. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, there has also been a significant increase in stalking incidents, and we anticipate that this might lead more women to consider reporting the situation to the Police.
The economic fallout of this pandemic is undoubtedly hitting women the hardest, with increased unpaid caring and domestic responsibilities, the prospect of losing already precarious and low-paying work, and the hurdles that exist when accessing social security. A hidden consequence of these inequalities is a higher risk of experiencing economic abuse and a worse experience for those already living with it.
Although often overlooked, Black women and women of colour have been at the centre of the fight for women’s rights, equality and social justice in the UK. This Black History Month we want to pay tribute to an outstanding Black activist who, despite her short life, she left a long-lasting legacy of activism that continues to empower the people at the margins of our society.
Support in the workplace is critical for women experiencing domestic abuse, and for some it can be a lifeline. This is especially pertinent at the moment when the COVID-19 pandemic means most employees are now working from home. For those living with abusive partners, they might now find themselves trapped with their abuser for significant periods of time and may find it more difficult to reach out for advice and support.