There are roughly 12,500 refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. Life can be extremely tough for sanctuary seeking women. Many are forced to flee their homes because they have been subjected to serious human rights abuses related to their gender, such as rape, threats of honour killing and domestic violence. This suffering is compounded, once here, by having to navigate the asylum system, and the hardship of adapting to life in a new country with the continuous fear of being returned to face persecution. Women are also largely responsible for the majority of childcare and household budgeting. Despite these difficulties sanctuary seeking women have a vast range of skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to local communities, and with the right support, their potential can be realised.
Community organisations in Wales provide essential support to sanctuary seeking women and are often their only lifeline. Women need particular services delivered in an appropriate way to meet their needs. Community organisations provide services, often on a voluntary basis, in order to assist asylum seeking and refugee women to integrate into their local communities and navigate a complex asylum procedure and support system.
Oxfam Cymru has produced this guide as a resource for community organisations in Wales to highlight this work and promote best practice.
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