We mark 16 Days of Action with a series of blogs

Embracing  c. Jenny Wicks
Seeking safety and a place to call home

Leading lights in the field of human rights join Scottish Refugee Council staff and friends to contribute to series of blogs for 16 Days of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

Launching today with a personal insight into the trauma women seeking asylum have often faced from Scottish Refugee Council staff member Helen Baillot, the blogs aim to spark thought and debate around the 16 Days of Action campaign.

Vital campaign

This vital campaign runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against  Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day), further emphasising that such violence is an abuse of human rights.

Troublingly, the violence that women seeking asylum are exposed to in their home countries often continues during their journey to the UK.  Once here, they continue to feel vulnerable as they attempt to navigate a complicated asylum system while struggling to cope with high levels of depression, anxiety and fear. It can also be difficult to remember traumatic events - all of which may negatively affect the outcome of their asylum claim.

Violence experienced by asylum-seeking women

Findings provided in our 2009 report with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Asylum-Seeking Women Violence and Health, indicated that 70 per cent of the women interviewed for the research reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Additionally it revealed these women experienced high levels of depression and stress.

Read more on our blogs section, and do comment with your own thoughts and views on this crucial campaign.