The Birmingham based community welfare organisation, Sikh Women's Aid is set to release the first ever report that looks to evidence the prevalence and impact of domestic and sexual violence in the Sikh/Punjabi community.
The report is based on an anonymous survey that was circulated amongst the Sikh/Panjabi community in the Summer of 2021 and closed with 674 respondents.
When examining the data, damning figures show that -
• Alarmingley high rates of Domestic Violence and Abuse with 70% of respondents stating that they had suffered Domestic Abuse.
• Nearly half (47%) of all respondents who experienced Domestic Abuse had more than one perpetrator.
• Respondents who said 'yes' to experiencing Domestic Violence and Abuse, the top three perpetrators identified, all exist within the home setting:
• 47% stated it was a Partner
• 24% stated it was their Own Parents
• 19% stated it was their Mother-in-law
• Despite 97% of respondents identifying themselves as having an awareness of Domestic Violence and Abuse, only 34% of respondents informed anyone or accessed support services.
• Over a third of all respondents (35%) have experienced Child Sexual Abuse/Exploitation.
• Females are disproportionately impacted (87%) but some males (13%) are also impacted.
• 1 in 7 respondents that said 'yes' to having experienced Child Sexual Abuse/Exploitation, had more than one perpetrator.
• When asked about where Child Sexual Abuse/Exploitation took place, the top three locations were:
• 41.5% in their home.
• 27% in a relatives home.
• 17% in other people's homes.
The report will formally be launched at their inauguration conference titled 'From Her Kings are born' - Sikh Women's Aid Conference' which will take place at the Tally Ho Conferencing Suite in Birmingham on Tuesday 23rd November 2021. Guest speakers will include Dame Vera Baird, The Victims Commissioner for England and Wales and also Nicole Jacobs, The Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales. The conference will be opened by the first ever Victim's Comissioner for the West Midlands, Nicola Brennan.
When examining the data, co-founder Sukhvinder Kaur said, "The initial purpose of the survey was to effectively inform and plan our own service delivery with the needs of victims at the forefront and there was no real intent to publish our findings. However, we were alarmed at high the statistics were and we realised very quickly that we had no option but to publish the findings because for us, the statistics highlighted that there is a need for more specialist and targeted support for Sikh/Panjabi victims of abuse. This service needs to be culturally sensitive and competent, and delivered alongside a robust program of education and awareness so victims can identify what is happenign to them and get help.
Service Lead for Sikh Women's Aid and sector lead Sahdaish Pall BEM added, 'The Sikh/Panjabi Community is recognised as a giving and caring community who never fall short of stepping up and supporting those that rae in need and are vulnerable, so we do not underestimate the responsibility we have in tackling such a sensitive subject by presenting our findings. Especially when a significant part of the community is very much in denial about the extent of the problem when dealing with domestic and sexual violence committed against adults and children. Shame and honour play a huge role in this denial. We simply need to acknowledge and accept that in every society that exists, there is a demographic of perpatrators who cause harm to others, and the Sikh/Panjabi community is no exception to this.
Alongside the report, Sikh Women's Aid will also be launching a song and music video called 'Settle the Score' to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and the start of the 16 days of activism. The song, which was supported by internation reggae arstist Apache Indian and music video filmed by Cookies Production, gives a gritty, reality based insight into the horrors of domestic abuse whilst interweaving themes of love, fear, hope and healing.
Lead actors were Tina Sharma and Jet Summan. Tina was very keen to support the campaign due to her personal experiences of domestic abuse. Jet also prioritised shooting this video for Sikh Women's Aid as he is passionate about raising awareness of domestic abuse within the community.
The song and report will be launched at the conference and will be available to view via the Sikh's Womens Aid YouTube platform.