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Giving Vunerable Women A Voice Through The Arts
Giving Vunerable Women A Voice Through The Arts

Giving Vunerable Women A Voice Through The Arts

The Team

&

Acknowledgments

Participants in the profiling All participants wish to remain anonymous

Central Lancashire Mental Health Race Equality Team Tony Roberts, Tyrone King, Pearly Gupta, Hajra Sardar and Zainab Ali

Authors Tony Roberts, Hajra Sardar and Zainab Ali

Artists Chris Davis Chantal Oakes Maria Paul and Ciara Preston College Chris Mason

Preston Women’s Refuge Valerie Wise Safia Bhatia Kauser Chaudry

Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) Northwest Manjeet Singh

Saheli

Priya Chopra

Lancashire Police Constabulary Fatima Chandia Julian Harrison Philip Orme Kay McGovern John Edmondson Victor Robinson

Funded by Central Lancashire NHS

Contents Executive Summary 1.0 Introduction and background 1.1 Aims and objectives 1.2 Target audiences 2.0
Contents
Executive Summary 1.0
Introduction and background 1.1
Aims and objectives
1.2
Target audiences 2.0

Mental Health Services/Public Services

2.1

Community 2.2

Non-Specialist Mental Health Services

2.3

Participants 2.4

Ethos Behind Engagement 3.0

The Process 4.0

Time and Resources

4.1

How this process worked

4.2

Why did we engage with women with no recourse to public funds

4.3

Profiling of Women with No Recourse to Public Funds (WNRPF) 5.0

Global and National context

5.1

Community Profile

5.2

Projects 6.0

iNeed Project

6.1

Outlawed Project - Part 1

6.2

Outlawed Project - Part 2

6.3

Events and Training

7.0

Recommendations

7.1

Evaluation

7.2

Action Plan

8.0

Future Work

9.0

Conclusion 10.0

1.0 Executive Summary

“When I was a child I loved fashion. I would put nice clothes on and dress up in jewellery and makeup. I would go window shopping with my mum and if I saw something that I liked I would ask my mum for it and sometimes she would say no! That would make me more determined to get it. I loved going to school I had lots of friends in college we would meet, play and sit together. I had a best friend called Sara we would always go to each others house. Then I left college and got married to HIM! and came to England. I still ring my friend sometimes. I really miss my past when I was little. I wish I could be a child again.”

Violence against women goes reported and unreported around the world everyday. Local and national governments set laws and guidelines to deal with domestic abuse. However there are often unclear boundaries when intervention takes place at crisis point by organisations such as the police, G.P’s, accident and emergency staff in hospitals.

Though policies make it an obligation for organisations to protect women and provide refuge for them when they are in a violent and dangerous situation. It is a shocking fact that a lot of women are not provided with basic needs and support simply because of their immigration status. These women then face the stark choice of being left in a trapped and violent situation in fear of their own lives with their children, or they face being destitute if they flee as they have no recourse to public funds.

This report concentrates on ‘Mouth- piece’, a small number of black minor- ity and ethnic women from Central Lancashire who have no recourse to public funds. The mental health race equality team have engaged with this group of women to highlight their is- sues through a creative means. The arts and the community develop-

ment process were used to provide a holistic mental health and well being approach for the women. The ben- efits for the women were immense as a result of the confidence and empow- erment they achieved by working on drama and art projects. The work that has been produced is being devel- oped to form training for services that work with women with no recourse to p ublic f unds (WNRPF) . To inform them of the experiences and complex issues of domestic abuse and having no recourse to public funds. Mouthpiece is essentially giving the voice and confidence to vulnerable women to speak for themselves and others in similar situations through a creative means and in turn inform and develop services to make them more appropriate to meet the needs of the women.

Key Findings 1. All of the women could not speak a level of English where they could express themselves effectively as they could in their mother tongue. This often led to further frustration.

2. 6 out of 7 of the women had reached crisis point due to domestic violence or attempted suicide and their first encounter with any service was the accident and emergency.

3. All of the women admitted to having

mental health problems and were receiving some type of medication from their GPs.

4. All of the women claimed that the

police lacked in providing support when cases of domestic violence were reported.

6. Through the community

development approach with working on the various creative arts projects all the women claimed that they had gained increased confidence.

Recommendations There were specific recommendations highlighted by Mouthpiece women themselves, and also by all partner agencies working together on the ‘Outlawed’ part 1 and 2 and iNeed project. The wider changes for the law and services are as below.

Changes in Law 1.1 The abolishment of the two year rule 1.2 The domestic violence rule that women should be able to prove that they have experience domestic violence should be relaxed, as domestic abuse cannot always be proved.

be relaxed, as domestic abuse cannot always be proved. 1.3 All women who have suffered domestic

1.3 All women who have suffered domestic violence and have insecure immigration status should be able to receive basic state benefits and other statutory services such as housing.

Changes in Services

2.1 The access to interpreters across

all service provision should be there as mandatory and at hand.

2.2 Guidelines or a booklet should be

issued to women on arrival to the UK by the Home Office with contacts if relationships break down during the two year rule.

2.3 More appropriate and responsive

cultural awareness training for Police Officers at a grass root level.

2.4 More appropriate signposting from

services and facilitating of that process.

2.5 More information about services

and support in different languages to desensitise women to access support and services.

2.6 Alternative and appropriate

psychological therapies need to be available for BME victims.

2.7 There needs to be more work

done with services internationally for supporting women who cannot go back to their home countries because of the stigma attached of being divorced/separated.

countries because of the stigma attached of being divorced/separated. 04 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 05
countries because of the stigma attached of being divorced/separated. 04 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 05

1.1 Introduction & background

There are several types of immigration status through which women may have no recourse to public funds. These are:

1. Work permit holders (E.G Chinese

medicine expert, Indian Chef, NHS Nurse)

2. Dependents of work permit holders

Foreign dependents of UK citizens

(2 year rule)

3. Students from outside the European

Union

4. Dependents of Students from

outside the European Union

5. Working Holiday Makers

6. Failed Asylum Seekers

This report concentrates on foreign dependents of UK citizens, specifically women who have left their home countries (generally South Asia) to be married and live with a UK citizen.

“Once I had escaped I

didn’t ever want to see him but we have a daughter and I am forced to see him regularly, it always refreshes the wounds. I just want to forget him but I can’t because of our

hate myself for

thinking this but sometimes I wish I didn’t have a child that was his”

daughter

i

Overseas spouses/ partners of UK nationals or those with settlement rights in the UK are required to remain in a relationship for a probationary period of two years before they are eligible for indefinite/ permanent leave. Women who are reliant on their partner’s immigration status are at risk of being trapped in a violent/abusive relationship.

During the probationary period, women have no recourse to public

funds and are not entitled to welfare benefits, council housing or to use publicly funded facilities. This puts them in a vulnerable position, where they face a stark choice of remaining in a dangerous situation or becoming homeless with no support.

Many WNRPF (women with no recourse to

public funds) are isolated and cut off from mainstream support mechanisms, both from services and the community.

“The NRPF (no recourse to public funds) rule

now represents a serious barrier to accessing both services and justice within the immigration and asylum systems.”

(South Manchester Law Centre, 2007 p177)

Domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse results in mental and physical health problems, such as anxiety, self- harm, lowered sense of self-esteem, depression and suicide.

The primary aim of this report is to develop knowledge and understanding of the complex factors that effect black minority ethnic women WNRPF, to ultimately inform mental health services/public services and to raise an awareness of their issues in the communities they live.

an awareness of their issues in the communities they live. 1.2 Aims & Objectives In order

1.2 Aims & Objectives

In order to achieve this, the objectives were to:

Seek out Women NRPF in the

local community through local organisations, district councils, asylum seekers support agencies, domestic violence centres, word of mouth etc.

Use non-threatening community

arts based activities to obtain information about issues that affect them. These activities would also enable them to socialise with others, without fear of persecution.

Provide opportunities, through

these arts activities, to explore their experiences of NRPF

Document these experiences in

a variety of formats (film, drama, audio, multi-media), anonymising the individual when necessary.

Use the women’s experiences

to develope bespoke training to service providers. In order to enhance understanding and practice towards BME women and WNRPF.

Make recommendations for service development.

BME women and WNRPF. • Make recommendations for service development. 06 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 07
BME women and WNRPF. • Make recommendations for service development. 06 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 07

2.0 Target audiences and benefits for them

2.1 Benefits for mental health services/public

1. To inform services of community

experiences of mental health services from a cultural perspective. This would in turn create more appropriate support for women WNRPF and meet government recommendation of working with BME groups.

2. The drama and arts developed

by the women can form part of the training for services. This would meet local action plans for a better informed work force. Equipped with the knowledge, awareness and contacts to deliver an

improved and more effective service.

3. There will be an increase in access

to services for WNRPF. This would meet government targets to get more BME groups accessing services.

2.2 Benefits for the community

1. Families/in-laws and husbands

are often the perpetrators of abuse and exploit WNRPF because of their vulnerability. For example the case of Sabia Rani who was beaten to death in Leeds, May 2006, by her husband

and in-laws. Therefore there is a need to raise awareness amongst this group.

2. Similarly as a result of the stigma,

communities and families do not often speak up or report abuse, therefore

this work aimed to target people in the community where the women

live/lived to empower them to report such abuse and confidently support other women in similar positions. This would also destigmatise mental health by providing a framework and materials to support this work.

3. By developing visual art

based campaigns and live drama performances it would help combat barriers of language amongst different multicultural communities.

2.3 Benefits for non-specialist mental health services

Through these findings, non-specialist mental health services for example voluntary organisations, would also have a raised awareness of issues affecting these women as there is an overwhelming demand for support when working with WNRPF.

2.4 Benefits for participants

1. Improved self-esteem, confidence, emotional health and well-being.

2. A better understanding of the

options available to them through signposting.

3. An increased ability to

communicate their needs and views to

service providers through the rapport created.

4. Be supported to make safe choices

the rapport created. 4. Be supported to make safe choices “It was when I ended up

“It was when I ended up in A& E with an overdose that I was handed a card to seek help”

and exit violent situations by the confidence and empowerment they will develop.

5. Create open dialogue of mental

health through the focus groups

6. Increase access to mental health

services by having raised awareness of services available to them.

7. Reminiscence has proved to be a

positive factor on mental health and

indicated lower depression scores in reminiscence therapy groups.

8. Help them to engage more

effectively with public bodies.

groups. 8. Help them to engage more effectively with public bodies. 08 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report
groups. 8. Help them to engage more effectively with public bodies. 08 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report

3.0 Ethos behind engagement

This engagement was not about working with a group of women who were ‘hard to reach’ and hard to engage with but it was about empowering them through their own

talents and abilities. It was about

a group of vulnerable women who

explored their own talents, intelligence and abilities and empowering themselves to be more proactive through making changes in their daily life, giving them life skills.

It was positive engagement by taking

a holistic approach to mental health

and well being by using the arts and drama. It was to explore and use creativity and its benefits whilst promoting humane and effective ways of working with communities. The approach was about giving the women the independence, the autonomy, the social contacts and something meaningful to do.

The engagement helped them to make sense of their experiences using the arts and drama and creating a self realisation through creative means.

Moreover the engagement aimed to have robust outcomes by using material produced by the women to form part of training to services.

As a result of the sensitivity, confidentiality was paramount to the profiling. This involved preserving anonymity of participants. It also involved constant reassurance to the women themselves that all information would be anonymous.

Managing emotions and dealing with mental health issues can also be distressing for facilitators. Listening to horrific stories of domestic abuse was difficult and to minimise the impact on the facilitators sense and not effect the quality of the work it was important for facilitators to detach emotionally to avoid any bias.

The women were informed verbally of full terms of their involvement. The women were given the right to refuse to participate and drop out at any point of the work.

Confidentiality of personal information including contact details and attendance registers were stored securely and all computers with information were password protected.

To protect anonymity, identities, names and stories have been edited through the report.

names and stories have been edited through the report. “It has been five years and I
names and stories have been edited through the report. “It has been five years and I
“It has been five years and I still have not got a divorce from him.”
“It has been five
years and I still have
not got a divorce
from him.”

4.0 The Process

“He used to abuse me and beat me up. I never was able to go out and across the road. He controlled my entire life. I had left all my family and friends for him, I did no know anyone here. I knew I had a probationary period where he would have to renew my visa. I used to ask him all the time when he was going to renew it but he would laugh and just ignore me. Until one day he beat me up so badly and threw me out on the streets in the middle of the night. I called the police and they came but they arrested me and took me to the police station because my husband had told them that I was an ‘illegal immigrant’!!! I was locked in a police cell for two days until a distant relative came to bail me out!

4.1 Time and Resources

The engagement with WNRPF began

in January 2008. A graphic designer

was commissioned to facilitate the artistic ‘iNeed’ work and two drama practitioners volunteered to engage with the women to develop the drama, ‘Outlawed’. The Central Lancashire Race Equality Team overlooked and managed the entire project.

A cost of £3000 was used from Central Lancashire PCT and an additional £950 was funded by CSIP northwest to develop the drama.

4.2 How this process worked

A community engagement method

was used to engage with the women. The MHRET wanted to build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision to ultimately benefit the women. The community engagement was supported greatly by the strong partnership links the mental health race equality team had with other

partners. (See Page 30 - 31)

The engagement was intended to gain an in-depth understanding of the women’s experiences from the unique perspective of each of its participant. Though the group size was small the quality of the information was vast,

detailed and personal. Experiences were explored that would be difficult to assess quantitatively with a bigger group. The size of the group also helped yield descriptions from various points of view. Furthermore this allowed room to explore in-depth how participants experience by asking further questions for clarification and elaboration, which for this type of work was both practical and ethical for working with vulnerable women.

Initially there was a total number of 12 women, however five dropped out before the first focus group session and when asked why? One woman said: “I fear repercussions from my ex- husband and in-laws” (Mrs N).

Barriers for some WNRPF to get involved was because the project was not a priority in their lives. They had many more complex issues and problems with immigration, financial difficulties and family commitments that were more important and took up most of their time.

The women that attended had issues around transport and were uncomfortable and not confident to use public transport therefore they had to personally be picked up and dropped off for each session.

The creative art based techniques were used to gain information and profile WNRPF. Art based work can be stimulated by creative activities this can lead to feelings of empowerment. Creative activity can tap into other creative potential. This thinking has, in turn, a direct benefit for life skills, such as problem solving and coping with challenges. This flexibility, which is characteristic of creative thinking, enhances the individuals ability to cope with mental health much better.

Dr Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal has pointed out that devoting only 0.5% of current NHS spending to the arts (£435m a year) would immeasurably improve people’s health. He also says that more and more of life’s difficulties are being medicalised. Medicine cannot solve these problems. “If health is about adaptation, understanding and acceptance, then the arts may be more potent than anything else medicine has to offer” (Smith, D 2006).

Drama and arts was used to make the women realise their own potential. It encouraged to improve their own mental health and release that energy, skills and desire for good health.

and release that energy, skills and desire for good health. However it was important to realise

However it was important to realise that the arts based profiling would be time consuming and labour intensive. It was also difficult to generalise with the information. The qualitative focus group method initially proved to be challenging as less confident women were unwilling to express thoughts and experiences in front of a larger group.

4.3 Why engage with women with no recourse to public funds

WNRPF are isolated, excluded, vulnerable individuals. There is a lack of awareness of their issues and needs.

To have greater understanding of not just WNRPF issues but women from BME communities who have NRPF. To take a mental health well being approach knowing that they fair worse for basic human rights, housing, social security, employment, children services and health.

To inform and raise awareness of their issues to services and communities and in turn create more effective services with better channels of support available for women WNRPF.

services with better channels of support available for women WNRPF. 12 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 13
services with better channels of support available for women WNRPF. 12 mouthpiece report mouthpiece report 13

When I was a child I

was very clever. I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. My father passed away and my family was poor. They did not have enough money to continue with my studies.

They did not have enough money to continue with my studies. I could not go too

I could not go too far to study because I had to look after my family, so I went to college close to my home for two years and learnt how to sew clothes instead. Then I got married to him and came to

England.

sew clothes instead. Then I got married to him and came to England. ” 14 mouthpiece
sew clothes instead. Then I got married to him and came to England. ” 14 mouthpiece

5.0 Profiling of women with no recourse to public funds

“When I was a child I wanted to be an air hostess. I dreamt of travelling the world and seeing other countries. I loved the idea of being a woman in the sky, wearing beautiful clothes and smiling to all the customers as I served them with their food and drinks.”

Wives and fiancess granted entry into the UK for the probationary period in 2005

compiled from statistics on immigration control (Home Office - 2006)

5.1 Global and national context

Looking a the global picture, the UK ranked 8th in the top ten countries with the largest number of international migrants in 2005 (United Nations, Trends in Total Migrant Stock:

The 2005 Revision) On a national scale below is a pie chart showing immigration entry in the UK of wives and fiancés.

105 860 3220 2670 3445
105
860
3220
2670
3445

5680

11310

South Asi a ther Asi Afric uro America ceani Other Nations
South Asi
a
ther Asi
Afric
uro
America
ceani
Other Nations

Participants The profiling and the project was conducted in Preston as it was found that there were women in Preston women’s refuge who had no recourse to public funds. Most of the women were from a South Asian background. It is a known fact that South Asian women are 3times more likely to commit suicide. For e.g in Southall, London one stretch of railway accounts for 1/3 of all railway suicides for the whole of England. Most of the victims are south Asian Women fleeing domestic violence. Central Lancashire has not reported similar statistics however a lack of action could lead to an increase in suicides in a similar way.

Also it was common knowledge that there has been no meaningful improvement or modernisation work conducted into the needs of WNRPF. This profiling and project aims to begin this process.

5.2 Community Profile

This research was undertaken with seven women who had come to the UK for the probationary period of two years on the basis of marriage.

4 from Pakistan, 2 From India and 1 from Thailand.

Age Group

The highest number of women were under 24 and the two older women 25 years old and above had additional pressures of children too.

Religion

Most of the women were Muslims, one was Sikh and one was Buddist. After Christians, Muslims make up the majority of the population in Preston at 8.24% Sikhs make up 0.56% and Buddhists in Preston are 0.17%. (Census 2001) Though small, the sample size is representative of some of the highest BME groups in the local population.

Language

The majority of women had a very basic level of English and most were unable to read and speak English. Most of the women spoke a South Asian language and one woman spoke Thai. This emphasises the need for interpretation services for women to access more help and support.

for interpretation services for women to access more help and support . 16 mouthpiece report mouthpiece
for interpretation services for women to access more help and support . 16 mouthpiece report mouthpiece
for interpretation services for women to access more help and support . 16 mouthpiece report mouthpiece
for interpretation services for women to access more help and support . 16 mouthpiece report mouthpiece
6.0 iNeed Project 6.2 Session 2 The women were given different magazines/newspapers and asked to
6.0 iNeed Project 6.2 Session 2 The women were given different magazines/newspapers and asked to
6.0 iNeed Project 6.2 Session 2 The women were given different magazines/newspapers and asked to
6.0 iNeed Project 6.2 Session 2 The women were given different magazines/newspapers and asked to

6.0

iNeed Project

6.2 Session 2

The women were given different magazines/newspapers and asked to cut out their likes and dislikes. Each participant then reported back to the group explaining why they had chosen those images.The main themes that came out of this was as below:

Artificial

Plastic

Models

V

Natural

Femininity

Nature/Flowers

6.3 Session 3

This session concentrated on the strengths and skills of the women and it was found that many of the women had strong talents and abilities in various fields. The most prominent skill/hobby that they enjoyed was drama.

Strengths

1. Trained beauty therapist

2. Singing

3. Acting/Drama/Dance

4. Cooking

6.1 Session 1

In January 2007 a focus group was set up initially to get to know the women. The themes/needs and solutions that came out of this session are as below.

Needs

1. More support to cope with the

range of mental health problems.

2. More control over their own lives.

3. Less stigma from their own

communities.

4. The need for English language.

5. More knowledge of legal rights and

services.

6. More support from public services

especially, GP’s and the police.

Solutions

1. The main solutions were talking

therapies for the women.

2. Direct access by authorities into

homes to see how new immigrants were settling.

3. More widely available information

and contacts especially at the time of arrival in the UK.

4. More culturally appropriate policing.

Tthese are some examples of artwork from the montage sessions.

20

mouthpiece report

6.4 Session 4

This was the beginning of the iNeed project. Using the iconic imagery style of Apples iPod (as below) advertisements, it was intended to recreate some posters that represent the particular difficult position that the women find themselves in. The concept was relatively simple in terms of the visual language, uses fairly straight forward photographic & graphic techniques and is anonymous in the final image, this was absolutely vital to preserve the anonymity of the women. The main themes and captions that came out of this session were.

iNeed my rights

iNeed love/ respect/dignity

iNeed undertstanding

iNeed you to listen to me

iNeed you to see beyond my bride price

iNeed you to make sure your son is ready to marry me

6.5 Session 5

The women designed the iNeed shots that represented the issues based on personal experiences and the drama practitioners supported them with this. This allowed the women to express themselves as they wanted.

The women took part in the imagery and agreed on three keys messages for the iNeed campaign.

iNeed my doctor to listen to me 6 out of 7 women were dissatisfied with the help the received from their GP’s to deal with their mental health after their abuse encountered by husband and in-laws.

iNeed you to see beyond my bride price The women felt that they were treated like objects that men and families could buy and use as slaves.

iNeed dignity and respect All the women agreed that as a result of their physical/mental and sexual abuse they had lost their dignity, respect and confidence both with husbands/in-laws and also with services, especially the police. Due to their lack of English language skills they felt that the police ignored them in times of crisis and interpreters were not called to translate.

o rights I have no rights to benefits, but I have a right to dignity
o
rights
I have no rights to benefits,
but I have a right to dignity
dig
no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds
beyon
i need you to see beyond
my bride price!
pric
no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds
not your
d
aug
u
u
i am not your daughter,
but i am family
m
fam no voiceice, no rights
no recourseeco to publicp fundsds
i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to public funds
i need
i need this?
his?
no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds
to publicp fundsds i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to
to publicp fundsds i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to
to publicp fundsds i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to
to publicp fundsds i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to
to publicp fundsds i need i need this? his? no voice, no rights no recourse to

mouthpiece report 21

22

mouthpiece report

22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a

6.1 Outlawed Project

22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a
22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a
22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a
22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a
22 mouthpiece report 6.1 Outlawed Project Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a

Part 1 The women were interested in drama therefore a drama practitioner was commissioned to work with the women. The women developed a play that encapsulated their personal experiences. It is a description of feelings and isolation the women suffered. The performance and script was emotive and hard hitting, telling stories of the women’s experiences of mental, sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

outlawed part 1 was a live performance which has also been developed into a professional film that will be used as part of training.

which has also been developed into a professional film that will be used as part of
which has also been developed into a professional film that will be used as part of

mouthpiece report 23

6.2 Outlawed Project

24

mouthpiece report

Part 2 With the success and impact of part 1 on the women and the audiences, the women felt empowered and motivated to produce an Outlawed part 2. The themes that the women wanted to explore were around dreams and childhood. As part of the developing the play, the women drew life maps that illustrated their journey.

The play is about the women’s journeys and their innocent dreams from childhood to their present situation. it is an abstract performance that juxtaposes their dreams and the reality of their domestic abuse.

it is an abstract performance that juxtaposes their dreams and the reality of their domestic abuse.
it is an abstract performance that juxtaposes their dreams and the reality of their domestic abuse.
it is an abstract performance that juxtaposes their dreams and the reality of their domestic abuse.
it is an abstract performance that juxtaposes their dreams and the reality of their domestic abuse.

mouthpiece report 25

7.0 Events and Training

“There was a time back home in Pakistan where my family and me would fill

lots of charity bags to give our clothes to the poor…

I cannot believe that I am

and today

I am rummaging through charity bags that people have given me!”

in ENGLAND!!!

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mouthpiece report

Saheli

25th March 08

Outlawed part 1 was performed live at the Forgotten Women Conference in Manchester. The aim of the event was to launch saheli’s research project about Asian women with no recourse to public funds. The audience consisted off a range of service providers and communities.

consisted off a range of service providers and communities. Mouthpiece Launch 2nd Dec 08 The women’s
consisted off a range of service providers and communities. Mouthpiece Launch 2nd Dec 08 The women’s
consisted off a range of service providers and communities. Mouthpiece Launch 2nd Dec 08 The women’s

Mouthpiece Launch

2nd Dec 08

The women’s group decided to formalise themselves as Mouthpiece. At the launch Mouthpiece projects were showcased and training was piloted. The event was targeted at service providers and representatives from the Police, G.P’s, Refuge and Accident and Emergency staff.

Libraries

Oct - Dec 08

The iNeed posters have been exhibited at libraries and art galleries across Central Lancashire Libraries including Preston, Chorley, Leyland and Ormskirk, from October 2008 to December 2008.

Women’s Voice

30th Jan 09

The Outlawed part 1 film was shown and Outlawed part 2 was performed live to a community audience in Blackburn. the aim was to raise awareness and combat stigma in BME communities around domestic abuse.

Lancashire Constabulary

2nd Feb 09

Bespoke training was designed and delivered to lancashire Constabulary to train the trainers. The training concentrated on raising awareness of BME domestic abuse, women with no recourse to public funds and forced marriages.

with no recourse to public funds and forced marriages. 7.1 Recommendations Law The ‘no recourse’ requirement
with no recourse to public funds and forced marriages. 7.1 Recommendations Law The ‘no recourse’ requirement
with no recourse to public funds and forced marriages. 7.1 Recommendations Law The ‘no recourse’ requirement

7.1 Recommendations

Law The ‘no recourse’ requirement under the two year rule reinforces inequalities and has a devastating impact on victims. It needs to be abolished.

Community Urgent need for publicityabout service provision to enable women to leave their abusive relationships.

Raise awareness to communities to dispel stigma and myth about domestic abuse.

Need to do more work with perpetrators of abuse.

Domestic abuse causes considerable Mental Health problems for victims. This needs to be addressed and appropriate services need to be offered to BMe victims.

Specific domestic abuse services and outreach services are crucial to women who are trapped in their abusive family homes.

It should be made compulsory for health services to record domestic abuse.

More support is needed for victims.

Services Need clear guidelines/pathways for all front line professionals to inform service delivery in such situations.

More funds needed for existing services

Services need bespoke training on WNRPF and cultural issues.

Mouthpiece needs to be replicated through various means, such as GP’s surgeries.

Need to educate and raise awareness about domestic abuse and South Asian women.

GP’s surgeries. Need to educate and raise awareness about domestic abuse and South Asian women. mouthpiece
GP’s surgeries. Need to educate and raise awareness about domestic abuse and South Asian women. mouthpiece

mouthpiece report 27

7.2 Evaluation

Feedback from workshop exercises Felt frustrated, uncomfortable, helpless and angry

A lot of taboo

Communication difficulties – need

to think of alternative means of

communication eg visual drawings, maps, photos etc

A lot of guesswork

Powerful exercise Needed an interpreter Cultural issues – lack of knowledge

Uncomfortable

Bullying – gang mentality

“Would you support and promote service to organisations? In future?”.

“Very informative but solution is still not quite clear. If they have no recourse where do they go? What happens?” This is the biggest problem with no recourse, there is limited help with limited information. Often the Refuge will house them through charitable means.

“Very good performance, so sad. People still live like this today???”

agencies for help.”

(non-specialist service provider)

“It was very powerful, embarrassing

and evocative.” (service provider)

“It woke up people to its reality, because this is reality, it was excellent it certainly did its job.” (service user)

“It was visual and without a lot of words it got over the message and the impact of domestic abuse”

(voluntary organisation worker)

impact of domestic abuse” (voluntary organisation worker) Feedback from the Women involved in the Project 1.

Feedback from the Women involved in the Project

1. “I have met friends and like minded

people”

2. “Before getting involved in this

project I thought I was the only person who was going through this. Its comforting to know that I am not the only one and there many people that are suffering the same.”

3. “I have gained experience and skills”

4. “I have gained confidence and my

English has improved.”

5. “I have the confidence to travel on

public transport now!”

have the confidence to travel on public transport now!” Bride has no voice, isolated, dis- “The
have the confidence to travel on public transport now!” Bride has no voice, isolated, dis- “The

Bride has no voice, isolated, dis-

“The real life drama was very emotive.

“A very emotion topic that needs more

6.

“In the past I found it difficult

empowered,

Their experience does help to

public awareness, education and

making eye contact with other people

Felt uncomfortable making

understand about no recourse to

media attention” (police)

because I had no confidence, but I feel

presumptions

funding and the reason why”.

more comfortable and able to speak

Power trip

“It was good to speak to two very

my mind now.”

Cultural issues and differences –

“Excellent and very well executed –

good enthusiactic people who

normal/abnormal

well done! PEP – can assist wnrpf to fund work”.

obviously know a lor about the subject” (police)

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mouthpiece report

Feedback from events and training “Very well organised. Enjoyed the workshops. Moving movie”

“The Live performance portrayed the Refuge negatively”.

In response to this we would say it is

the women’s story and they wrote the play.

“Issue of sexual abuse should be dealt with in film”.

“I think it was a fantastic performance from the ladies. There should be more work like this in the future, a big well done to all the team”.

“Its what a lot of the agencies just hear about they don’t really see what’s happening and until you don’t really see those emotions they don’t really hit home. So now hopefully its hit a lot of people and now they know how it feels when these women come to

“Good delivery and design for inexperienced and experienced police

officers. But good for all organisations,

schools, colleges etc ”

(police)

“A very informative lesson, as a civilian trainer i do not come into contact with this in my job so its good to have the culture explained” (police)

mouthpiece report 29

8.0 Action Plan

Plan

1. Design and deliver bespoke

training to various services, including Constabularies, A & E and Gp’s.

2. Working with constabularies to

design and deliver training

3. Continue working on the training

pack.

4. Seek funding to deliver community

projects.

5. Generate income through

commissioned work.

6. Deliver Live performances to service

providers and communities.

7. “I lived a life of hell for two years where it was just ‘HIM
7.
“I lived a life of hell for two
years where it was just
‘HIM AND ME’ day in, day
out
I did not know where
to go for help
until he

Continue working on Mouthpiece

and replicating work through Social enterprise

All the results and findings will be published on the mental health race equality teams website. www.colourmind.co.uk where viewers can e-mail/ phone anonymously if they wish to feedback on the project.

threw me out one day”

30

mouthpiece report

the project. threw me out one day” 30 mouthpiece report 9.0 Future Work Based on the
the project. threw me out one day” 30 mouthpiece report 9.0 Future Work Based on the
the project. threw me out one day” 30 mouthpiece report 9.0 Future Work Based on the

9.0 Future Work

Based on the findings there is an opportunity for the women to progress and improve their autonomy and independence. When scoping and finding potential women to be involved, it was found that there was a considerable amount of exploitation of the women by their employers.

Some experiences included working

in a local food manufacturing factory

who would employ these vulnerable women paying them low wages requiring them to work long hours with no or minimal breaks. Some of the women had said they had done

cleaning jobs privately and would get paid £20 a day and in one case one woman said she did some cleaning for

a woman and never got paid for it.

the women Zainab Ali and Hajra Sardar are independently managing and supporting this enterprise. The enterprise envisages to work on two level; to seek funding and generate income through commissioned work.

The drama practitioners who volunteered in this project will continue to support the women through the social enterprise.

Outlawed the film has been developed as a professional supportive DVD alongside with training materials. This training will be rolled out to organisations and services that the women want to inform and make improvements to.

As a result, to make the work

sustainable and to provide a legal income through royalties to the women the MHRET will help develop and support the women to become

a social enterprise, where the women

can utilise their skills and combat their financial difficulties at the same time.

The enterprise needs to be more

sustainable to continue doing the work that it has done in the community and within services. Therefore Mouthpiece has been launched as

a social enterprise, working with

mouthpiece report 31

Graphic Design and Art direction - Chris Mason - chrismason.ocd@live.com

10.0 Conclusion

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mouthpiece report

While this profile provides useful insights into the experiences and needs of WNRPF there remains a

need for further research on a larger scale and with a bigger sample size; and of other groups with no recourse (see page 6). There is also a need

to

study the needs and experiences

of

women still living in abusive

relationships.

A

major barrier to improving the lives

of

WNRPF is the lack of targets set

by government. This means local authorities and PCT’s are reluctant to invest in support for some of their most disadvantaged people.

On the contrary it has been argued that the UK needs to cut down on immigration. Furthermore relaxing the two year probationary rule will encourage bogus claimants for British citizenship.

More importantly, immigration needs to be handled on a more human level. Not everyone fits neatly into predefined categories and try as it might, a government cannot anticipate the situation of every immigrant.

cannot anticipate the situation of every immigrant. “A nation should not be judged by how it

“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones”

Nelson Mandela

should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones” Nelson
should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones” Nelson

mouthpiece report 33

Partners

Soundskills

Soundskills is a community arts organisation that works with vulnerable and excluded groups in the Ribbleton area of Preston. Soundskills has been commissioned to provide most of the artistic support around film and photography.

Preston Women’s Refuge

Preston Women’s Refuge have many women who have NRPF who want to stay at the refuge but unfortunately due to financial reasons they are unable to accommodate them all. Compared to any other service the refuge is the strongest supporting mechanism offering accommodation and immigration advice and general support to WNRPF. Most of the women that Mouthpiece has worked with are from a refuge.

Drama Practitioner

Maria Paul a drama practitioner from Liverpool has been working with the women from Mouthpiece from the early developmental stages to the formation of the social enterprise. Maria has provided professional drama and artistic skills to the women and directed the performances and film.

Women’s Voice

Women’s Voice is a voluntary group that aims to provide a platform to all women who’s voices are unheard. The group has been organised by a collective of professional women who offer advice to vulnerable women. At the launch of Women’s Voice Mouthpiece has performed Outlawed part 2, live and it was well received with positive feedback.

Lancashire Constabulary

There is a lack of awareness of WNRPF in the Constabulary and the Constabulary recognises that they have a training need to raise awareness of this issue to the police. Mouthpiece has worked with Lancashire Constabulary to deliver training around WNRPF and domestic abuse in the BME community. There are more opportunities for Mouthpiece to do some more work with the Constabulary in the future.

Local GP’s

A local female GP told us that she has an overwhelming percentage of BME female patients who attend her women’s drop in surgery. Even though all the women attend for medical physical gynaecology problems most of them have mental health issues, usually caused by the stress of husbands and extended family. They often talk to the GP as she is the only South Asian GP in that particular area. The GP feels that it is not her role to be providing counselling and therapy and often feels like she cannot help these women. Mouthpiece is scoping opportunities to work more closely from GP surgeries to support vulnerable women.

34

mouthpiece report

surgeries to support vulnerable women. 34 mouthpiece report G.P’s Practice Managers Non BME practice managers find
surgeries to support vulnerable women. 34 mouthpiece report G.P’s Practice Managers Non BME practice managers find
surgeries to support vulnerable women. 34 mouthpiece report G.P’s Practice Managers Non BME practice managers find

G.P’s Practice Managers

Non BME practice managers find that women who are suffering from domestic violence do not want to speak to South Asian male older GP’s about their problems. They fear that they will disclose their problems to others in the community. Instead they tend to ‘offload’ to the practise manager who cannot do anything but listen to the problems of the women. The problems range from mild mental health to more severe mental health issues including self harm and attempted suicides. One particular practise manager in a predominantly BME area suggested that it would be useful to have a drop in at the surgeries. She said to use the surgery as a base is the best option because it is often the only place that perpetrators of abuse eg, husbands/mother-in-laws allow the women to go.

Preston College

Preston College drama students have helped develop exercises and workshops for Mouthpiece. Students at the College had little awareness of vulnerable BME women’s issues. For example, after watching the Outlawed film one student said that they thought all these problems arose from religion. After informing the students and dispelling myths there was a raised understanding of domestic abuse and BME women.

Saheli- Manchester

Saheli provides emergency, temporary refuge accommodation to vulnerable women and their

children who are fleeing domestic violence. They provide a range of safe and confidential services. Saheli launched research findings of women with no recourse to public funds in Manchester on ?. Mouthpiece performed Outlawed part1 live at the event and was well received by a number

of community members and statutory organisations that attended the event. Mouthpiece would

like to develop further links with Saheli and other organisations that work closely with vulnerable women/victims of domestic abuse.

Preston Imam (Minister of Religion)

A Preston Muslim Imam has been approached to develop links with the faith community in

Preston. The Imam already does some work and delivers sermons/talks on raising awareness of

the women’s experiences of domestic abuse. There are individuals who are perpetrators of abuse

in communities and others who accept it therefore the Imam is a key contact for Mouthpiece to

work closely with and to raise awareness of their experiences in the community.

mouthpiece report 36

Mouthpiece 7-9 Langfield Rd Brookfield Preston PR2 6UY