Tag Archive: Asian communities

Domestic violence

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Imagine being beaten by your husband or threatened with deportation and having your children removed from you. Perhaps police show up in response to a call or complaint but you can’t speak their language.

How would you deal with family members angry with you for bringing shame to your family or to your community?

Domestic violence is vastly underreported in Asian communities for a number of reasons. The language barrier is a huge obstacle as is the great sense of bringing shame to the family.

For many Asian women, their entire sense of identity is wrapped up in relationship to their families.  Often Asian women will refer to themselves as ‘someone’s wife’ or ‘someone’s mother’. They often don’t introduce themselves or other women by name.

Domestic violence is vastly underreported in Asian  communities for a number of reasons

Domestic violence is vastly underreported in Asian
communities for a number of reasons

Another problem identified is the link between violence and love in some Asian families. Many Asian people grow up in a society or a culture where corporal punishment is acceptable, to a certain degree, such as the misbehaviour of a child. The notion ingrained as time goes along is that, ‘well, daddy/mummy hit me because I was naughty and they wanted to correct me because they love me’.

Now victims of domestic violence in Leeds are being urged to not suffer in silence and take steps to access a wide range of support services available in the city.

Working with a range of partners, including West Yorkshire Police and the NHS, Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds Partnership is providing help in a number of ways to tackle domestic violence, support victims and work with previous offenders.

Available 24 hours a day, the Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) phone line offers confidential support and advice from trained staff for all victims of abuse aged 16 or older.

Callers are assured that they will be listened to and treated with dignity and respect and can be offered access to further services depending on their needs.

Depending on personal circumstances, a place in a refuge may also be offered but at no time will pressure be put on any caller to leave their partner or home if they are unsure or do not want to.

The Safer Leeds Partnership is also responsible for overseeing enquiries which are made as part of new legislation entitled ‘Clare’s Law’, which enables people to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence. The partnership uses a multi-agency approach to respond to women and/or their relatives who enquire about the past domestic violence offences if they are concerned the person may cause harm to a partner.

An innovative new pilot project working with men to improve their relationships with their children and partners and reduce their risk at home has also been launched in three areas of Leeds. This is a 17-week programme called ‘Caring Dads’.

Councillor Mick Coulson, Leeds City Council’s lead member for community safety said: “We would urge anyone who is experiencing domestic violence to please seek support from the wide range of services available in Leeds.

“Nobody should have to suffer in silence, and we would like to reassure anyone who is thinking of contacting us that out trained staff will always listen, never judge and offer the best practical advice and support.”

For further help and advice, or if you are from outside the Leeds catchment area, there are also a number of national numbers to call.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS
Leeds Domestic Violence Service (0113) 246 0401
Leeds ‘Caring Dads’ 0113 395 1377
Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 (for women)
Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 (for men)

In any emergency, please ring West Yorkshire Police on 999,
or for further help and advice call 101.

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Infertility

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A leading infertility clinic is appealing for women from Asian communities to consider becoming egg donors, after a marked increase in the number of Asian women asking for their help to have a baby.

Private infertility clinic Manchester Fertility, which is based in Cheadle Royal Business Park, currently has ten Asian women waiting for an egg donor.

Normally, women needing donor eggs can be treated immediately as there are no waiting lists for women seeking treatment using Caucasian donor eggs.

Berlin, Germany, artificial fertilization of an egg
But patients who are seeking an Asian egg, so their child can be of similar ethnic background and culture as themselves, are either having to wait or must seek treatment abroad.

Lynnsey McHugh, Unit Director of Manchester Fertility, says: “We are one of the few infertility clinics in the UK which doesn’t have a waiting list for treatment using either donor eggs or donor sperm, thanks to our strong donor recruitment programme and reputation for excellent donor care.

“But it seems that awareness of egg donation is low amongst the established Asian communities in our region.

“We’re sure that if more women realised that there is a shortage, we would see more coming forward to donate eggs.

“We have a strong number of Asian sperm donors, but sadly not Asian egg donors. The only choice these women face now is to wait for the right donor, or to travel abroad for treatment, which carries risks as foreign clinics and egg donation screening may not be as strictly regulated as in the UK.”

Lynnsey continues: “We want nothing more than to help these women as soon as we can. There are many reasons why they need to use an egg donor to have a family – from medical treatment which has affected their fertility, to age-related infertility where their own egg quality is low and unlikely to result in successful treatment.

“We understand that egg donation – and indeed sperm donation – can be a taboo subject for some, but infertility can affect anyone and want to get the message out that there to the local Asian communities that could be someone in your community, right now, who is relying on someone like you to help them have a family.”

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