Rates of domestic abuse have been highest amongst the BAME community in recent years – particularly amongst those of mixed ethnicity. But sadly, Covid-19 has made this situation worse according to the latest report by our Research and Policy Unit, which sets out how to address this worrying trend.
Almost a quarter of domestic abuse victims are from the BAME community, whereas only 6% are white. Mixed race victims make up half the BAME figure.
The report highlights that because of cultural reasons and institutional racism, as well as Covid-19, BAME victims are less likely to receive support to leave their abusive relationships. For example, it found twice as many men and women from BAME communities have lost government financial support during the pandemic as white men and women. As a result, many victims have stayed in their abusive relationships as they have been unable to or found it difficult to access benefits that would help them move on.
The report also looks at the prevalence of so-called Honour-Based Violence – a specific type of abuse that BAME victims can face.
It sets out recommendations for organisations working with domestic abuse victims to adopt.
Report author and Researcher Stacey Musimbe, said: “Domestic abuse is unfortunately disproportionately affecting BAME communities. All organisations working with victims of domestic abuse, particularly those in the criminal justice sector, must look at tackling this issue by challenging institutional racism, receiving training on working with minority communities, adopting responsive policies and investing in funding for BAME organisations.”
Deputy Chief Officer Carl Hall, said: “All domestic abuse victims should feel they can speak out and seek help. We must work together to reach out, support and change perceptions of the hardest to reach groups, including BAME women and children affected by domestic abuse, who can be frightened of being ostracised by their community or have a history of mistrust of criminal justice agencies.”
You can read a copy of the full research report here.