Published On: 20 April 2023Tags: , ,

‘Ignored, dismissed, humiliated’ – a new report launched today: Listen to us! Communication barriers: How statutory bodies are failing Black, Minoritised, Migrant, Deaf and Disabled women and girls victims/survivors of VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls), outlines failings of public services to support Black and other minoritised women.

  • More than half of victims/survivors in the 50 case studies from 19 responding organisations had experienced a failure of the police to communicate at an appropriate level or make reasonable adjustments
  • Nearly half were not informed about the process, or their rights after contacting the police to report abuse or violence
  • 44% had prior experience of discrimination –racism, ableism, and xenophobia, from the police
  • 78% felt powerless as a result of their interactions with police and other services.


The report highlights how communication barriers negatively impact VAWG victims/survivors’ experiences of safety and access to justice. The evidence provided by this work shows that victims/survivors with communication needs are more likely to be afraid to contact the police for fear of discrimination and violence.


The Communications Barriers Working group was formed two years ago by members of the VAWG Sector call. The group’s purpose was to look into communication barriers and what could be done to raise awareness and effect positive change by providing evidence of the lack of accessibility to adequate support and justice for Black, minoritised, Deaf, disabled, migrant, Gypsy, Roma & Traveller and other marginalised women survivors.

Membership of this working group includes – Deaf Ethnic Women’s Association, Domestic Abuse Commissioners Office, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Imkaan, IRISi, Karma Nirvana, Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Rape Crisis England & Wales, Sign Health, Stay Safe East, Solace Women’s Aid, The Traveller Movement and Women’s Aid Federation of England.

This report is a collaborative effort between organisations working to improve access to safety, support and justice for victims/survivors with communication needs and provides recommendations, including practical steps to better respond to these.


Read the full report here.