Professor Aisha K. Gill's fundraiser for women at risk during lockdown reaches over £15,000 in ten days

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Roehampton's Professor Aisha K. Gill, PhD, CBE, launches successful crowdfund for domestic violence victims during the pandemic.

Image - Professor Aisha K. Gill's fundraiser for women at risk during lockdown reaches over £15,000 in ten days

Domestic violence is a global phenomenon that cuts across distinctions of age, class, race, religion, gender and sex. And for those living with perpetrators of domestic abuse during the Covid 19 lockdown, self-isolation can pose a far greater risk than the disease itself. 

Throughout lockdown Professor Gill has been actively working with a number of women's charities supporting at-risk BME and refugee women. In addition to delivering food and medicines, she recently launched a fundraise with two friends to offer emergency help to women such as Manpreet, who has no access to public funds and who described her desperation in vivid terms: "Nothing will be done, he will kill me and blame it on coronavirus. I have no legal status in this country and do not have enough money to feed my kids. I am too scared to leave. Where would I go? I can't live on the streets?"

Professor Gill commented: 'The pandemic is heightening existing inequality and vulnerability to create new forms of hardship, particularly for black and minority, ethnic and refugee women, who are at greater risk from inequalities of gender, race, religion and class. While the government has recognised the increase in domestic violence during the lockdown, little attention has been given to the specific impact this is having on black and minority ethnic organisations and the communities they serve. Our emergency 'no recourse to public funds' campaign will help to feed and clothe women and children who are temporarily being supported by London Black Women's Project, Southall Black Sisters, Apna Haq in Rotherham and Sistah Space in Hackney.'

A target of £16,000 was set by the three fundraisers, and within 10 days of their Just Giving page being up they had gone over £15,000. Anyone who is able to help with a donation is warmly invited to visit the crowdfunding page here.

Professor Gill made suggestions to the Prime Minister's virtual summit on hidden harms in May 2021. Her contribution is helping to inform the government's thinking on policing domestic abuse and honour-based violence during the pandemic, as well as the proactive policing response to domestic abuse more broadly.