If you are from a black or minority ethnic community and have any concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past, contact the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline.

A full translation service is available.

The Helpline provides information, emotional support, and the opportunity to talk over all your concerns, including housing and legal options. You are guaranteed a confidential and caring response.

Who is abused?

Any black or minority ethnic person can be abused regardless of nationality, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or background. The Helpline welcomes calls from everyone. Recognising what is happening to you, or has happened in the past, is the first step in escaping the pain and misery of domestic and sexual violence.

Abusers are often good at convincing those they have abused that it was their fault and they agreed to it.

Domestic violence and Black & Minority Ethnic People

Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, financial, or psychological. Sexual abuse is often a part of domestic violence. You are being abused if your partner/ex-partner/ boyfriend/girlfriend/family member does any of the following: ›

  • Constantly criticises your appearance, undermines your decisions and opinions
  • Manipulates or threatens you into a forced marriage
  • Threatens to hurt or kill you on the grounds of ‘honour’
  • Is jealous and possessive and continually accuses you of being unfaithful
  • Gets family members to beat you using the excuse that you are ‘not a good wife’
  • Threatens to take custody of your children or prevent you from seeing them
  • Tries to isolate you from your friends and family and makes you justify any absence
  • Physically hurts you in any way › Takes your passport or constantly threatens you with deportation
  • Will not let you learn the language of the country you are living in

Sexual violence and Black & Minority Ethnic People

Sexual violence/abuse refers to any sexual acts that a person does not consent to take part in. It can include:

  • Rape
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Coerced or forced sexual activities, including activities that may involve violence and pain
  • Having constant affairs with women from another ethnic background and blaming you
  • Forcing you to undergo any form of female genital mutilation
  • Forcing you to watch or participate in pornography › Posting sexual images of you on the internet without your consent
  • Using drugs or alcohol to make you vulnerable in order to have sex with them
  • ‘Grooming’ a child or vulnerable person to engage in sexual activities of any kind

Who sexually abuses?

Most people are abused by someone they know and trust, a husband or wife, a partner or ex- partner, relatives, babysitters, ’friends of the family’, people in positions of authority, neighbours, and sometimes strangers.

How Women’s Aid can help you

Our team of specially trained workers understand the devastating impact domestic or sexual violence can have on your life. We realise it can be hard to pick up the phone for the first time. Our Helpline workers are experienced in supporting you to talk when you are ready. We understand you may not know what to say or how to start. Our workers will put you at ease.

The Helpline also has a full translation service available for anyone whose first language isn’t English. We also have information leaflets in different languages.

The Helpline can refer women and their children directly to the safe network of refuges and outreach support services provided by local Women’s Aid groups. We can also arrange safe temporary accommodation for men and their children and refer women and men to a range of other agencies for support. If you have been sexually assaulted the Helpline can arrange immediate practical help, including direct referral to The Rowan, the sexual assault referral centre.

Help for Black & Minority Ethnic People Leaflet