30th November 2021

Refugee Women Connect has been working with the University of Birmingham's SEREDA Project for the past two years. Today, they launch their most recent research piece titled Forced migration and sexual and gender-based violence: findings from the SEREDA project in the UK. As proud partners with SEREDA, Refugee Women Connect has supported their research launch and helped to highlight the conditions forced migrant survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are forced to endure.

Sunday evening saw Sky News covering the report launch, including interviews with Refugee Women Connect Advocacy Group members Hana and Manono. Through interviews with Sky's Inzamam Rashid, Hana and Manono called for system wide reforms of the UK asylum system to ensure that all women who have experienced sexual and gender based violence do not suffer further trauma within the UK asylum system, but are given the support to seek sanctuary in safety and with dignity.

They explained their own experiences of navigating the hostile asylum system, and how these experiences impact theirs and their family's safety. Hana discussed how dangerously low asylum support rates negatively impact her ability to care for her children. Manono explained how she was forced to leave Malawi to seek sanctuary in the UK because of her sexuality, but that the Home Office do not believe that she is gay.

On Monday, Hana travelled to the House of Lords to support the launch of SEREDA's research piece.

Hana has also spoken to The Guardian's Jessica Murray about gendered experiences of seeking asylum. You can read the full article here.

'They treat everyone the same way. It should be different, especially for women and children. I’m not saying the process doesn’t affect men, but for women and children it’s worse. When you come they treat you like nothing'

The UK asylum system is hostile, but it doesn't have to be this way. The government has the power to make all survivors of SGBV and those who have been forced to move to the UK safe. Refugee Women Connect stands alongside the SEREDA project to call on the government to make the asylum safe and ensure that forced migrant survivors of SGBV are given the support to seek sanctuary in safety and with dignity.

You can read the full report here.