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Rape Crisis Scotland

WORKING TO
END
SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

08088 01 03 02

Phone the free Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline
Every day, 6pm to midnight

Do you have some time to listen?
Do you have some time to listen? Rape Crisis Scotland is looking for women to volunteer on the national helpline supporting survivors of sexual violence.If you have time to give, and would like the supportive atmosphere, excellent training and personal & professional development that Rape Crisis Scotland offers, come and find out more at our information evening....

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Sexual Violence Prevention Project Evaluation
Rape Crisis Scotland has published the evaluation into its Sexual Violence Prevention Project, which works with young people across Scotland on issues relating to sexual violence, consent and healthy relationships. Key findings include:...

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New report supports Protection Gap campaign
New report supports Protection Gap campaign The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published a new report on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) . The report includes recommendations that support the Charter campaign to lose the Protection Gap. The report recommends that: "the Government amends the guidance for interviews to raise the importance of making female interpreters available for cases of violence against women and girls. The current state of using them when 'operationally possible' is not satisfactory and means that their provision is not high enough a priority. "The Government should also amend the guidance to make the responsible authorities have a responsibility to provide crèche type childcare at venues where screening takes place." Specifically the recommendations support the demands of the Protection Gap campaign for the Home Office to: · Guarantee that women can have a female interviewer and interpreter if they choose · Provide childcare during screening and asylum interviews You can find a more detailed summary of the asylum issues covered by the report below. There are only a few days left to sign a Postcard for Protection online. Please do encourage as many people as possible to sign at www.asylumaid.org.uk/protectiongap Joint Committee on Human Rights - Report on Violence against Women and Girls Asylum Aid: Summary of asylum issues During 2014 the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) undertook an inquiry to examine the United Kingdom's progress towards ratification of the Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence). In their report on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) published on 19th February 2015 the Committee examines each article in the Convention to ascertain the UK's compliance with it. This summary focuses on issues relating to asylum (with emphasis added). Committee conclusion The chapter on immigration and asylum concludes "we are disturbed by the evidence we received that the routine use of male interpreters, the operation of fast-track detention system and the reported culture of disbelief within the Home Office wall result in victims suffering further trauma whilst seeking asylum or immigration to the UK. We find this unacceptable" (Para 220). Protection Gap campaign The report includes recommendations that support the Charter campaign to close the Protection Gap. The report recommends that: "the Government amends the guidance for interviews to raise the importance of making female interpreters available for cases of violence against women and girls. The current state of using them when 'operationally possible' is not satisfactory and means that their provision is not high enough a priority. "The Government should also amend the guidance to make the responsible authorities have a responsibility to provide crèche type childcare at venues where screening takes place." These issues were raised in evidence by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (Para 217). Specifically the recommendations support the demands of the Protection Gap campaign for the Home Office to: · Guarantee that women can have a female interviewer and interpreter if they choose · Provide childcare during screening and asylum interviews Double discrimination The JCHR summarises its concerns about VAWG in relation to asylum seekers stating "These women and girls are often overlooked. Immigration policy is developed separately from policy about violence against women and girls" (Summary). The Protection Gap campaign argues that measures being brought in through the Foreign Office for survivors of rape during civil war should also be available to women who flee such abuses and seek protection in the UK. Reiterating evidence from the Refugee Council the Committee states "We find it worrying that current Home Office policies leave people destitute during the asylum and immigration process and that this in itself leads to women being at a greater risk of being a victim of violence. This is in contrast to funding being provided by the Department for International Development to post-disaster zones which looks specifically to address such survival strategies used by women. We believe that this demonstrates the need for better co-ordinated domestic and international policies across Government departments on asylum and immigration processes" (Para 201). The Committee notes Asylum Aid's recommendation "that the Home Secretary should ensure that there is regular representation from the Immigration Minister and UKVI [UK Visas and Immigration] at the appropriate level at all meetings discussing violence against women and girls" (Para 19). The Committee recommends that "the work of the Inter-Ministerial Group [on VAWG] be broadened to include questions of asylum and immigration rules and practice as well as the compliance of devolved policy with the Istanbul Convention" (Para 27). Culture of disbelief The Committee notes evidence from Asylum Aid and Amnesty International of the higher proportion of reversals of decisions in women's cases. (Para 211). The JCHR argues that women in the asylum system face a culture of disbelief and double discrimination as asylum seekers and women (Para 216). In relation to the culture of disbelief Mike Penning, the Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims told the Committee, "it is completely inappropriate and fundamentally wrong in any modern society that someone is not believed because they happen to be immigrant or an asylum seeker. [...] If that is happening in the Border Force then that is fundamentally wrong, and we will look at it" (Para 213). In contrast to this the Immigration and Security Minister, James Brokenshire, stated that "The Government does not accept that there is a 'culture of disbelief'" (Para 214). The Committee concludes that "Through the Inter-Ministerial Group [on VAWG], the Government should monitor the training, the number of reversals of decisions made and the extent to which the guidance for immigration officials is properly followed to ensure a culture change" (Para 27). Vicarious traumatisation The Immigration and Security Minister, James Brokenshire, noted that a course entitled "The Psychological Factors Affecting Decision-Makers" was piloted to encourage decision-makers to reflect on the impact of their work and raise awareness of potential risks, including vicarious traumatisation (Para 215). Detained fast-track (DFT) The Committee was concerned that "those who allege that they are victims of violence against women and girls are being detained through the fast-track process and recommend a review of the screening process for this as a matter of urgency" (Para 221). They noted concerns from Women for Refugee Women at the lack of information on which a decision to allocate an applicant to the DFT was made (Para 208) as well as concerns by the Royal College of Psychiatrists regarding retraumatisation and the way it inhibits an applicant giving a coherent account (Para 209). Special Rapporteur's visit to Yarl's Wood Referring to the UN Special Rapporteur on VAWG not being able to visit Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre during her mission to the UK in April 2014, the Committee noted the observation of the Foreign Affairs Committee "We find it surprising that the Home Office was unable to facilitate a request, even at short notice, from a UN Special Rapporteur to visit Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre. It sets a dangerous precedent for other countries to follow suit and has caused embarrassment to the UK" (Para 210)....

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New resource & helpline service for LGBTI survivors
New resource & helpline service for LGBTI survivors From Friday 19th February, Rape Crisis Scotland will be offering a specialist support service on the national helpline for LGBTI survivors of sexual violence, and their friends and families. This will complement existing services and offer LGBTI survivors an additional opportunity to seek support responsive to their experiences from specially trained support workers. Rape Crisis Scotland National Co-ordinator, Sandy Brindley said “We know that LGBTI survivors can experience unique stresses following sexual violence, which can make it even more difficult to report what has happened to them or to come forward and seek help. With our new resources and helpline service, Rape Crisis Scotland is taking proactive steps to overcome these barriers, and we want to highlight the fact that our support is fully inclusive, and able to respond to all survivors, whatever their gender identity or sexual orientation.”...

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'Do you know' performance for Cross Party Group
'Do you know' performance for Cross Party Group A group of young people from Leith Academy performed an excerpt from their 'Do you Know' Theatre piece at the Cross Party Group on Violence Against Women earlier this week. They talked about the powerful learning and the changes experienced since being part of the sexual violence prevention workshops run by Nadine Jassat, prevention worker at EWRASAC. This is part of Rape Crisis Scotland's National Sexual Violence prevention work, now running from 10 Centres across the country....

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