The End Violence Against Women Coalition submitted evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on the unequal impact of Coronavirus for BME people (on 10.07.20) and on disabled people (on 13.07.20). This follows our original submission to the Committee’s inquiry on the unequal impact of Covid-19 on people with protected characteristics. This is available here.
The Committee, having launched the initial inquiry into the unequal impact of the pandemic, launched three sub-inquires focusing on 1) the gendered economic impact, 2) BAME people, and 3) disability and access to services.
EVAW’s recommendations for the BME people inquiry included:
- Ring-fenced funding for VAWG services run ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women on a permanent basis.
- Extend the emergency funding for VAWG support services during coronavirus beyond 31 October to avoid a “cliff edge” in support.
- Abolish the No Recourse to Public Funds condition which prevents migrant women with insecure immigration status from accessing vital, often life-saving support and routes to safety.
- Amend the Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure migrant women are no longer left behind and have access to the same protections regardless of their immigration status by introducing a principle of non-discrimination in line with Article 4(3) of the Istanbul Convention to ensure all victims of domestic abuse have equal access to protection and support regardless of immigration status; a provision to establish safe reporting mechanisms and an end to data-sharing for immigration enforcement purposes between vital public services and the Home Office; and an extension of eligibility for the Domestic Violence (DV) Rule and Destitute Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC), so that every migrant survivor can access routes to regularise/confirm their immigration status and can secure public funds while doing so.
- Ensure leaders across statutory services implement training on racialised stereotypes for their whole workforces specifically in relation to violence against women and girls, in order that they are disrupted and stop denying BME women and girls access to the support which is their right.
- Involve domestic abuse and VAWG experts , including those supporting survivors facing multiple forms of discrimination, within all elements of the development and delivery of the Test and Trace Service to ensure it is safe for survivors.
Looking to the future and any ‘building back better’, we also call on national government to take responsibility for having all those with commissioning power and understand the absolute necessity of ensuring the specialist BME women’s ‘by and for’ sector is protected and sustainable.
EVAW’s recommendations for the disabled people’s access to services inquiry included:
- Consult with specialist disabled women’s organisations on a variety of issues relating to disabled people’s access to services, such as:
- Ensuring Government campaign materials and communications are inclusive of the types of abuse faced by Deaf and disabled people and accessible to all.
- Ensuring that disabled girls are protected from child sexual abuse and that there are sufficient safeguarding procedures in place for disabled children currently out of school.
- Ensuring disabled people’s access to food and understanding the intersection between abuse and access to food.
- Ensuring safeguarding of disabled people in residential care settings.
- Extend the period of spend for emergency funding beyond the 31st October ‘cliff edge’ to ensure sufficient funding for specialist disabled women’s organisations is available.
- Amend the Domestic Abuse Bill’s definition so that it accurately distinguishes between, and does not conflate, intimate partner abuse with other forms of family abuse, and includes abuse perpetrated by unpaid carers of disabled women within the definition of ‘personal connection’.
- Publish the critical care guidance being used by the NHS to decide who to treat and how to apply Do Not Resuscitate Orders, so that disabled people can be reassured that their right to life will be protected.
- Repeal the measures in the Coronavirus Act that temporarily suspends duties in the Care Act and responsibilities for safeguarding of people with mental health issues, and so that educational support for disabled children is reinstated.
- Ensure that the interests of disabled survivors of VAWG are represented at all levels of Covid-19 response and “transition” planning, and that the prevention of increasing levels of VAWG, providing specialist support for survivors and tackling perpetrators are priority objectives
For more information please see our full submissions: