Helping Women Since 1989
Stopping violence in our lives and in our communities
We provide specialist support
Culturally sensitive, multilingual and globally aware, we are at the forefront of change, helping women and girls, communities, schools, governments and society as a whole.
33 Years Operating
As a long-standing and empowered organisation at the frontline of VAWG, we are committed to excellence, innovation and professionalism.
9,143 Women Helped
We are growing our resources in repsonse to the VAWG crisis, driving campaigns that will ultimately bring the no. of women in need to ZERO.
806 Housed with 20 Beds
We run a total of 20 bed spaces and acquiring more so we can safe-guard women who will bring back to society many-fold when fully independent.
£12.00 For £1 Donated
The women and girls we work with learn skills, gain independence and overcome traumas, bringing valuable benefits for the whole community.
Ahiana Network is regulated by the Charity Commission UK
Unlike the private sector, we are obligated to demonstrate a vital need for our existence and a direct, measurable impact on society. Doing things for the greater good means every expense, every detail, and every action is thoroughly regulated, audited and tested for integrity. We strive to show the efficiency and remarkable capabilities of Public Sector Civil Duty through our work.
8890 Referrals Made to Us
Through our ever-growing network we are able to refer cases more effectively. We work for a united community without VAWG.
9,958 Students Reached
To end VAWG we start with education. Working with the grass roots means we are able to cultivate modern values and let the next generations flourish.
3941 Outreach Projects
We adapt everyday to circumstances that change in seconds. We pioneer new ways to translate ideas and transform culture.
367 Workshops Given
We transcend social boundaries, language diversity, industries, sectors and economies; VAWG is a global issue, so we engage everyone.
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.
Ashiana became a ‘led by and for’ BME women’s service, developing and delivering specialist services for BME women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of VAWG.
GROWTH AND OUTPUT
1995 - 2020
Over the years Ashiana has grown slowly but steadily and supported an increasing number of women. Ashiana has developed expertise over 30 years around specific forms of violence that disproportionately impact BME women, including forced marriage, honour based violence and female genital mutilation, and has well established links with services and networks that BME women are more likely to require including immigration specialists and faith and cultural communities.
Since its establishment, Ashiana has developed and expanded to provide a range of services benefiting vulnerable women and girls. These include advice, advocacy, counselling, specialist refuge for women at risk of forced marriage and honour based violence and those with no recourse to public funds. Ashiana also delivers a range of community based activities, prevention work and training for professionals.
Professionalism, Innovation, Excellence, Commitment, Empowerment
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Ashiana works from a rights based approach and the premise that VAWG is gender based violence and a human rights issue. Our work, therefore, is based on the definition in the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Awards and Accreditation
Ashiana won several awards for its work in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, providing refuge accommodation and support to women who are threatened with or fleeing forced marriages. The project is innovative in terms of addressing an area of significant need not met in other refuge provision; it is the first provision in the UK specifically catering for forced marriage victims.
Ashiana wins the Rising Stars Award (Best Voluntary Sector Violence against Women Project) 2004.
The award has been given by The Lilith project, a London consortium working with organisations to raise awareness of violence against women, help make the streets in the capital safer for women and also challenge negative representations of women in the media. BME Spark Awards presented to Ashiana Y Stop on 3rd March 2005 by the Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP, Chief Secretary to The Treasury, for service innovation for BME communities and examples of good practice from both providers and commissioners of services.
In November 2004 Ashiana received an award of distinction from the Mayor of London in recognition of the outstanding and innovative work to further the aims of the London Domestic Violence Strategy and to make London a safer place.
Investors in People – achieved Gold level
National Domestic Violence Service Standards – Passed without condition
Imkaan Accredited Quality Standards - Achieved Distinctive Accreditation
Office of Immigration Services Commission – Level 2
‘I wanted to study beyond secondary education but my father did not allow me. My father told me that I was a girl and that I did not need to study. Looking back, if my father allowed me to study, I would be someone who knows her rights and how to protect myself. I would not have married someone that I did not love and had never met. I would have chosen my life partner. I would have had the rights over my choices that affected my life. I never had anything that I ever desired from my father’s home or my husband’s home. I only wanted to be treated like a human and to live like a human being.’
‘I want to have freedom to make my own decisions, freedom to say no. I want to rule my life not other people ruling over me. I just want to have peace and happiness in my life without fears anxieties, and depression. I want a life like that. I want to walk on the road that I choose.’
‘Over a period of time, anxiety and depression overtook me. I became suicidal. If it wasn’t for the timely, professional and structured support that I received from case worker who interchanged hats in a seamless, solid and consistent manner between counseling, advocacy and outreach; I wouldn’t have survived this crisis. Thank-you ‘Ashiana’ for making me feel @ home, for coming into my life, handholding me because I was incapable of picking up the pieces alone. I can state with conviction that I would not have been able to survive on my own.’
‘It was petrifying for me to make such major decisions in my life so I decided to think more about my options. I thought of running away many times but then I though I had no where safe to go and they will find me and kill me. I felt so lonely and I wanted to leave home because if I stayed, my family would continue with forcing me into a marriage with an old man’.
‘From the time I reached Ashiana, they have helped me survive, I found it easy to be open, I didn’t feel judged or that I need to explain myself as my keyworker understood. She was always willing to help, support, guide, she listen to my troubles, help wipe the tears, gave me comfort when needed and gave me sound advice, always there encouraging and I felt that she was really rooting for us to succeed to not let what happened to me dictate the rest of life.’
'I just wanted to say a big thank you for contacting me today regarding my close friend. Just by knowing there are people that are able to help her has made her a lot happier, I was scared when she used to call me and tell me that she hated waking up in a morning, and blaming herself for the situation she is in. She is a truly special lady having to live in unbelievable circumstances, you have given her the hope that there are options for her away from feeling that the only option is to end her life.’
‘I really don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for Ashiana or where I would be right now, since being here my self confidence has come back, I feel that I’m a person again, much more independent and so much stronger, they have helped me build myself up again when I was at the lowest point of my life.’
‘I will never ever forget that night even if I wanted to. I was really scared, he wasn’t gentle with me, and he hurt me a lot. I felt violated as this happened against my will. I was raped. I became a woman against my will as this is what is considered in my culture as you are a girl until you become a woman at the point that you lose your virginity.’
‘In February 2010, abandoned and lost, I was found by Ashiana. The policing system and other DVU(s) failed to protect me and by April, 2010 I was being abused by everyone around me….immediately the ‘Ashiana-Network’ took over by becoming my refuge and my hope’.
“Since I moved to the refuge, I have my own freedom and I am out from all the violence which has affected me. My life has changed totally and I can feel some peace in my life. Since I moved to the refuge I have the opportunity to meet with new people and make new friends. After I came to the house, I felt safe. From my support worker I am getting all the support, practically, mentally and emotionally. I trust my support worker and I can share my feelings with her where I can find happiness’
‘I begged my father on the phone; I explained to him that my husband does not love me. He hates me and he beats me every day. I begged him and pleaded with him to take me back and allow me to return. Every time, I asked, my father refused and said that he was my husband and I have to listen to him and do what he wants. If I didn’t listen to my father and thought of returning, my father would kill me. My father’s honour was at stake. His honour was more valuable than his own daughter’s life!’
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