Published On: 17 November 2023Tags: , , ,

A new report from Imkaan and Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), titled ‘Life or Death’, reveals systematic failures in protecting Black and minority ethnic women from domestic homicide and suicide.

The research examines 44 cases over the past decade and identifies multiple barriers these women faced in reporting abuse and getting help, as well as flaws in the post-death investigatory process.

Key findings include:

– Pressures within some minority communities not to report abuse outside the family

– High levels of police racism deterring reporting

– Fear of losing children preventing reporting due to social services involvement

– Immigration concerns preventing undocumented women from reporting

– Language barriers disadvantaging minority women

– Stereotyping and assumptions affecting credibility assessments

– Lack of understanding of ‘honour’-based abuse missing severe risk

– Criminalization of victims through counter-allegations

– Healthcare failures in identifying abuse

The report shows how cuts to specialist support services, designed for and by minority women, have cost lives. It highlights inadequacies in post-death investigations, including inappropriate use of ‘cultural expertise’ and weaknesses in examining police conduct.

The researchers call for increased funding to restore vital specialist services, greater awareness of cultural differences, and reforms to improve investigations when minority women die in domestic violence circumstances

Read the full report here and the executive summary here.