IARS, the leading international think-tank, pioneer in user-involvement and the application of user-led research methods, is proud to announce the launch of a new piece of research “Abused No More: The Voices of Refugee and Asylum-seeking Women”.

The book is based on an original study that was undertaken by IARS between 2012 and 2013 with funding from Comic Relief and Matrix Chambers. The research goes on to explore specific challenges that refugee and asylum seeking women face when accessing GP and solicitor services, such as problems with registering with GP practices, a need for longer consultations with GPs and the prevalence of refugee women paying for legal help from private solicitors as a result of a lack of awareness of their entitlements to legal aid.

Consistent with IARS’ strapline for “Community-led Solutions for a Better Society”, the study was led by a group of refugee and asylum seeking women community researchers. They worked voluntarily and against their personal challenges and life priorities. 46 refugee and asylum seeking women participated in this study. While some were open about the gender related violence   they   experienced,   others   shared   their   experience   as   victims   of   persecution   that related to their sexual orientation, political and societal status.

The findings of the research are provocative and timely. The book also proceeds with a number of evidence-based solutions for government and its services, which have recently been extremely reactionary and political in their immigration policies. It is an opportune moment to consider refugee and asylum seeking women’s experiences of GP and solicitor services in light of the changes to these two areas of service provision brought about by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, 2012 and the Health and Social Care Act, 2012. This is a time of transition as the impact of these pieces of legislation on refugee women’s experiences of these services largely remain to be seen.

Professor Gavrielides, IARS Founder & Director said: “This book is unique both in its content and methodology as its evidence was collected directly by the user. The voices of refugee and asylum seeking women are directly heard. It is now time to listen”.

Lynne Berry, OBE, said: “This book could not be more timely as its exclusive focus is the investigation of the experiences of one of the most vulnerable groups in modern British society. Migrant and asylum seeking women who have been, and in most cases continue to be, victims of violence and sexual abuse face multiple challenges and are exposed to higher risks for discrimination”.

A female participant said: “I want to have my story heard and I know others do too... [But] you need the right setting to tell your story and you will only do it if you think you will be listened to and it might make a difference”.

The book will be launched at IARS annual conference in November (date tbc) and is now available for sale online. A hardcopy can be purchased for £9.99 from IARS’ Charity Bookstore at http://www.iars.org.uk/content/CRBook Alternatively visit retail stores Scribd and Amazon. All proceeds go to charity.

If you believe in our work please consider supporting us by becoming an IARS member. For £35 per year you can help us make a real difference while receiving a number of member benefits. Click here for a 2 minute application form. You can also donate torwards our goal by clicking here.

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The book is based on an original study that was undertaken by IARS between 2012 and 2013 with funding from Comic Relief and Matrix Chambers.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 5/09/2013

CONTACT: DR. THEO GAVRIELIDES | 02078200945 | 07955728951| @TGavrielides

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Notes to Editors

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