1,000 signatures reached
To: Caroline Dinenage MP, Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Family Justice.
Keep Apna Haq open in Rotherham
Save Apna Haq, Rotherham’s only ethnic minority women’s violence against women support group and the best chance some women in Rotherham have of getting to safety and freedom
Why is this important?
In 1994 a group of local ethnic minority women set up what started as a domestic violence support service called Apna Haq - which means “My Rights”. More than 2,000 women and children have been helped by Apna Haq – to escape and overcome domestic and sexual abuse, so-called ‘honour-related’ abuse and forced marriage, and sexual exploitation. Many women have been so empowered by their experience at Apna Haq that they have gone on to become volunteers and workers there too, sharing their knowledge and experience to help new service users.
Apna Haq is a life-saving service, and it is run the best way a women’s service can be – by and for women who understand their community’s needs. The women who run Apna Haq have deep personal understanding of the particular patterns of abuse, the excuses that are made for it, and the barriers to escaping abuse in their community.
At the end of July this year Apna Haq received a devastating letter from Rotherham council informing them that their £145,000 contract for providing domestic violence support was to be ended and that a mainstream service with no specialism in the needs of minority ethnic women would do the work instead (for a slightly lower price).
We cannot allow Apna Haq to close. It is expert. It is life-saving. It is run by women who know the lives of the women who seek help there. We cannot try to put right horrific abuse of girls from across different communities in Rotherham and simultaneously create new barriers to women and children who need help
Join us and call on the lead Commissioner in Rotherham Sir Derek Myers, who now runs Rotherham borough council, to stand by Apna Haq to ensure that their future is secure.
Nothing about us without us!