Ashiana Network was established in 1989 as part of the Waltham Forest Young People’s Housing Project, which housed young homeless people. It grew out of a recognised need for safe housing for young South Asian women who were experiencing familial domestic violence. It began as a seven-bed house with resettlement support. It was challenging period for Ashiana. We faced criticism and hostility from some community members who blamed us for breaking up families. Our focus remained with our clients, ensuring that they were safe and their support needs were being met.
Ashiana became an independent charity in 1994.
Since its establishment, Ashiana Network has developed and expanded to provide a range of services benefiting vulnerable women and girls. These include advice, advocacy, counselling, specialist refuge and advice services for women at risk of forced marriage and honour based violence, education and prevention work with young people.