Wednesday 5th December 2012
Following its Break the Silence, End the Violence event late last month, the UCKG HelpCentre has released data on its work in supporting women affected by domestic abuse.
The information was gathered by RAHAB (Removing All Hurt and Abuse) the UCKG HelpCentre’s survivor group of women who have regained their lives and self esteem after sometimes extended abuse from male partners.
Since its formation in 2006, RAHAB has helped 300 women to transform their lives in the aftermath of domestic abuse. That equates to one success per week over a six year period; and the need for its support continues unabated.
“The queue of women seeking individual advice after our presentations last month was 50-strong,” said RAHAB’s leader, Apollonia Hango. “Since then we have received a steady flow of calls from another 40 women seeking help.”
The callers are mainly, but certainly not exclusively, from Caribbean and West African ethnicities that account for a large proportion of the UCKG HelpCentre’s congregations. Although the underlying causes of the abuse are wide ranging, interestingly, few of the women seeking help are reporting rape.
“The issues they tell us about include the long term effects of childhood abuse, which in our opinion has to be forgiven so that the victims can move on,” added Apollonia. “But more often than not, greed is the driver that prompts the husband or male partner to be abusive.”
Problems frequently arise when comparatively uneducated women are the un-witting victims of marriages of convenience or their husbands’ flouting of UK immigration laws.
Having been brought into the UK on a visitor’s visa and stayed on, a woman is typically bullied and forced to work extremely hard in her husband’s business while being threatened with deportation. If there are children, her position is doubly difficult.
Other women, unaware of the Married Women’s Property Act, do not know that their earnings are their own. They pay all their money into the husbands’ accounts, only to discover months or years later that he has cleared the account and taken everything leaving them destitute.
RAHAB helps by providing impartial and spiritual support from survivors with personal experience of domestic abuse. “Where children are involved, we always report the crime,” Apollonia continued.
In other instances, RAHAB puts women in contact with professionally established victims’ centres and it strongly encourages them to go to the police. RAHAB works with CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, local legal centres, Social Services and women’s refuges.
Although RAHAB is based in London, where it offers women the opportunity to meet the group privately each week for help and support, it can be accessed via all UCKG HelpCentres in the UK. Visit uckgnew.org for a full list of locations.
Note to editors:
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
RAHAB (Removing All Hurt And Abuse) is a Community Group set up to reach out to women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. It is run by volunteers and helps women by giving them a chance to express themselves and by providing practical advice on how to rebuild their lives and their families.
CAFCASS is a non-departmental public body accountable to Michael Gove, MP, the Secretary of State for Education in the Department for Education (DfE). It works within the strategic objectives agreed by its sponsor department and contributes to wider government objectives relating to children.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and 020 7686 6033.