This paper argues that there is a need for an independent specialist women's refuge sector to address the housing needs of BMER (Black, minority ethnic and refugee) women. It will consider barriers to equal access that BMER women have and how these could be resolved by providing specialist services tailored to their specific needs. Specifically, the paper shows how such services, attuned to concerns of race, class, and gender, could positively help resolve additional barriers confronting BMER women due to housing inequality. The primary research, based on an analysis of questionnaire responses and a focus group with service users, offers a snapshot of the impact that the lack of access to housing provision has for BMER women including increasing their social exclusion and vulnerability if need remains unmet. A case is made for a strengthened independent specialist sector to deal with the housing needs of women fleeing domestic violence. Key recommendations are identified on how housing policies, practices and service provision can be strengthened through the implementation of a specialist sector.
Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2008
Keywords: Domestic violence; Gender; Race; Inequality; Homelessness and housing; Specialist services