Women for Refugee Women co-ordinates Sisters Not Strangers, a new nationwide movement of asylum-seeking women who are organising to end destitution.

Right now, hundreds of women who have come to this country to find safety are living completely destitute. That means that they have nowhere safe to stay and are cut off from any support from the Government.

Many people who come to the UK to claim asylum are unfairly refused.

This may be because they have struggled to collect the evidence they need, because they couldn’t find a good lawyer, or because the Home Office didn’t give them a fair decision.

When someone is refused asylum they can be left without any support, any housing, or any right to work.

Lots of these people do go on to get leave to remain in the end, after years of struggle. But in the meantime destitution is really hard, particularly for women.

Women who are destitute are often abused, exploited, suffer ill health and become depressed.

Join Sisters Not Strangers to show solidarity for destitute women in the UK!

Why We Campaign

Our new research documents 106 women’s experiences of destitution. This is what they told us:

The women we spoke with had come to the UK to seek safety, escaping from violence at the hands of their government or families.

z had been raped or tortured in their country of origin

Women can be made destitute at different points during their asylum journey, and often on more than one occasion.

A third of women were raped or sexually abused when destitute in the UK

95% of women felt depressed while destitute, 32% tried to kill themselves

Destitute is a deliberate policy to deter vulnerable women from staying in the UK. It is cruel and it doesn’t work.

Sisters Not Strangers

WE ARE PART OF A MOVEMENT TO END DESTITUTION

What You Can Do

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Sing together this International Women’s Day, Sunday 8 March 2020

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