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Giving Vunerable Women A Voice Through The Arts

The Team

Executive Summary


Participants in the profiling

All participants wish to remain

Introduction and background

Aims and objectives

Central Lancashire Mental Health

Race Equality Team
Tony Roberts, Tyrone King, Pearly
Gupta, Hajra Sardar and Zainab Ali

Mental Health Services/Public Services

Non-Specialist Mental Health Services


Tony Roberts, Hajra Sardar and
Zainab Ali

Ethos Behind Engagement


The Process


Chris Davis
Chantal Oakes
Maria Paul and Ciara
Preston College
Chris Mason
Preston Womens Refuge
Valerie Wise
Safia Bhatia
Kauser Chaudry

Target audiences

Time and Resources

How this process worked
Why did we engage with women with no recourse to public funds

Profiling of Women with No Recourse to Public Funds (WNRPF)

Global and National context
Community Profile

iNeed Project
Outlawed Project - Part 1
Outlawed Project - Part 2

Care Services Improvement

Partnership (CSIP) Northwest
Manjeet Singh
Priya Chopra
Lancashire Police Constabulary
Fatima Chandia
Julian Harrison
Philip Orme
Kay McGovern
John Edmondson
Victor Robinson
Funded by Central Lancashire NHS

Events and Training



Action Plan


Future Work


Conclusion 10.0

1.0 Executive
When I was a child I
loved fashion. I would
put nice clothes on and
dress up in jewellery and
makeup. I would go
window shopping with
my mum and if I saw
something that I liked I
would ask my mum for it
and sometimes she would
say no! That would make
me more determined to
get it. I loved going to
school I had lots of friends
in college we would meet,
play and sit together. I
had a best friend called
Sara we would always
go to each others house.
Then I left college and got
married to HIM! and came
to England. I still ring my
friend sometimes. I really
miss my past when I was
little. I wish I could be a
child again.


mouthpiece report

Violence against women goes

reported and unreported around the
world everyday. Local and national
governments set laws and guidelines
to deal with domestic abuse. However
there are often unclear boundaries
when intervention takes place at crisis
point by organisations such as the
police, G.Ps, accident and emergency
staff in hospitals.
Though policies make it an obligation
for organisations to protect women
and provide refuge for them when
they are in a violent and dangerous
situation. It is a shocking fact that a lot
of women are not provided with basic
needs and support simply because
of their immigration status. These
women then face the stark choice
of being left in a trapped and violent
situation in fear of their own lives
with their children, or they face being
destitute if they flee as they have no
recourse to public funds.
This report concentrates on Mouthpiece, a small number of black minority and ethnic women from Central
Lancashire who have no recourse to
public funds. The mental health race
equality team have engaged with this
group of women to highlight their issues through a creative means. The
arts and the community develop-

ment process were used to provide a

holistic mental health and well being
approach for the women. The benefits for the women were immense as
a result of the confidence and empowerment they achieved by working on
drama and art projects. The work that
has been produced is being developed to form training for services that
work with women with no recourse to
public funds (WNRPF). To inform them of
the experiences and complex issues
of domestic abuse and having no
recourse to public funds.
Mouthpiece is essentially giving the
voice and confidence to vulnerable
women to speak for themselves and
others in similar situations through a
creative means and in turn inform and
develop services to make them more
appropriate to meet the needs of the
Key Findings
1. All of the women could not speak
a level of English where they could
express themselves effectively as they
could in their mother tongue. This
often led to further frustration.
2. 6 out of 7 of the women had
reached crisis point due to domestic
violence or attempted suicide and their
first encounter with any service was
the accident and emergency.

3. All of the women admitted to having

mental health problems and were
receiving some type of medication
from their GPs.
4. All of the women claimed that the
police lacked in providing support
when cases of domestic violence were
6. Through the community
development approach with working
on the various creative arts projects
all the women claimed that they had
gained increased confidence.
There were specific recommendations
highlighted by Mouthpiece women
themselves, and also by all partner
agencies working together on the
Outlawed part 1 and 2 and iNeed
project. The wider changes for the law
and services are as below.
Changes in Law
1.1 The abolishment of the two year
1.2 The domestic violence rule that
women should be able to prove
that they have experience domestic
violence should be relaxed, as
domestic abuse cannot always be

1.3 All women who have suffered

domestic violence and have insecure
immigration status should be able to
receive basic state benefits and other
statutory services such as housing.
Changes in Services
2.1 The access to interpreters across
all service provision should be there as
mandatory and at hand.
2.2 Guidelines or a booklet should be
issued to women on arrival to the UK
by the Home Office with contacts if
relationships break down during the
two year rule.
2.3 More appropriate and responsive
cultural awareness training for Police
Officers at a grass root level.
2.4 More appropriate signposting from
services and facilitating of that
2.5 More information about services
and support in different languages to
desensitise women to access support
and services.
2.6 Alternative and appropriate
psychological therapies need to be
available for BME victims.
2.7 There needs to be more work
done with services internationally for
supporting women who cannot go
back to their home countries because
of the stigma attached of being

mouthpiece report


1.1 Introduction
& background
There are several types of immigration
status through which women may
have no recourse to public funds.
These are:
1. Work permit holders (E.G Chinese
medicine expert, Indian Chef, NHS Nurse)

2. Dependents of work permit holders

Foreign dependents of UK citizens
(2 year rule)

3. Students from outside the European

4. Dependents of Students from
outside the European Union
5. Working Holiday Makers
6. Failed Asylum Seekers
This report concentrates on foreign
dependents of UK citizens, specifically
women who have left their home
countries (generally South Asia) to be
married and live with a UK citizen.
Once I had escaped I
didnt ever want to see him
but we have a daughter
and I am forced to see
him regularly, it always
refreshes the wounds. I
just want to forget him
but I cant because of our
daughter..i hate myself for
thinking this but sometimes
I wish I didnt have a child
that was his


mouthpiece report

Overseas spouses/ partners of UK

nationals or those with settlement
rights in the UK are required to remain
in a relationship for a probationary
period of two years before they are
eligible for indefinite/ permanent
leave. Women who are reliant on their
partners immigration status are at risk
of being trapped in a violent/abusive
During the probationary period,
women have no recourse to public

funds and are not entitled to welfare

benefits, council housing or to use
publicly funded facilities. This puts
them in a vulnerable position, where
they face a stark choice of remaining
in a dangerous situation or becoming
homeless with no support.
Many WNRPF (women with no recourse to
are isolated and cut off from
mainstream support mechanisms,
both from services and the community.

public funds)

The NRPF (no recourse to public funds) rule

now represents a serious barrier to
accessing both services and justice
within the immigration and asylum
(South Manchester Law Centre, 2007 p177)

Domestic violence, rape and sexual

abuse results in mental and physical
health problems, such as anxiety, selfharm, lowered sense of self-esteem,
depression and suicide.
The primary aim of this report is to
develop knowledge and understanding
of the complex factors that effect
black minority ethnic women WNRPF,
to ultimately inform mental health
services/public services and to raise
an awareness of their issues in the
communities they live.

1.2 Aims
& Objectives
In order to achieve this, the objectives
were to:
Seek out Women NRPF in the
local community through local
organisations, district councils, asylum
seekers support agencies, domestic
violence centres, word of mouth etc.
Use non-threatening community
arts based activities to obtain
information about issues that affect
them. These activities would also
enable them to socialise with others,
without fear of persecution.
Provide opportunities, through
these arts activities, to explore their
experiences of NRPF..
Document these experiences in
a variety of formats (film, drama,
audio, multi-media), anonymising the
individual when necessary.
Use the womens experiences
to develope bespoke training to
service providers. In order to enhance
understanding and practice towards
BME women and WNRPF.
Make recommendations for service

mouthpiece report


2.0 Target
audiences and
benefits for them
2.1 Benefits for mental health

1. To inform services of community

experiences of mental health services
from a cultural perspective. This
would in turn create more appropriate
support for women WNRPF and
meet government recommendation of
working with BME groups.
2. The drama and arts developed
by the women can form part of the
training for services.
This would meet local action plans
for a better informed work force.
Equipped with the knowledge,
awareness and contacts to deliver an
improved and more effective service.
3. There will be an increase in access
to services for WNRPF. This would
meet government targets to get more
BME groups accessing services.

2.2 Benefits for the community

1. Families/in-laws and husbands

are often the perpetrators of abuse
and exploit WNRPF because of their
vulnerability. For example the case of
Sabia Rani who was beaten to death
in Leeds, May 2006, by her husband
and in-laws. Therefore there is a need
to raise awareness amongst this
2. Similarly as a result of the stigma,
communities and families do not often
speak up or report abuse, therefore


mouthpiece report

this work aimed to target people in

the community where the women
live/lived to empower them to report
such abuse and confidently support
other women in similar positions.
This would also destigmatise mental
health by providing a framework and
materials to support this work.
3. By developing visual art
based campaigns and live drama
performances it would help combat
barriers of language amongst different
multicultural communities.

It was when I ended up in

A& E with an overdose that
I was handed a card to seek

2.3 Benefits for non-specialist

mental health services

Through these findings, non-specialist

mental health services for example
voluntary organisations, would also
have a raised awareness of issues
affecting these women as there is an
overwhelming demand for support
when working with WNRPF.

2.4 Benefits for participants

1. Improved self-esteem, confidence,

emotional health and well-being.
2. A better understanding of the
options available to them through
3. An increased ability to
communicate their needs and views to
service providers through the rapport
4. Be supported to make safe choices

and exit violent situations by the

confidence and empowerment they
will develop.
5. Create open dialogue of mental
health through the focus groups
6. Increase access to mental health
services by having raised awareness
of services available to them.
7. Reminiscence has proved to be a
positive factor on mental health and
indicated lower depression scores in
reminiscence therapy groups.
8. Help them to engage more
effectively with public bodies.

mouthpiece report


3.0 Ethos behind

This engagement was not about
working with a group of women
who were hard to reach and hard
to engage with but it was about
empowering them through their own
talents and abilities. It was about
a group of vulnerable women who
explored their own talents, intelligence
and abilities and empowering
themselves to be more proactive
through making changes in their daily
life, giving them life skills.
It was positive engagement by taking
a holistic approach to mental health
and well being by using the arts
and drama. It was to explore and
use creativity and its benefits whilst
promoting humane and effective ways
of working with communities.
The approach was about giving
the women the independence, the
autonomy, the social contacts and
something meaningful to do.
The engagement helped them to
make sense of their experiences using
the arts and drama and creating a self
realisation through creative means.
Moreover the engagement aimed
to have robust outcomes by using
material produced by the women to
form part of training to services.


mouthpiece report

As a result of the sensitivity,

confidentiality was paramount to the
profiling. This involved preserving
anonymity of participants. It also
involved constant reassurance to the
women themselves that all information
would be anonymous.
Managing emotions and dealing with
mental health issues can also be
distressing for facilitators. Listening to
horrific stories of domestic abuse was
difficult and to minimise the impact on
the facilitators sense and not effect the
quality of the work it was important
for facilitators to detach emotionally to
avoid any bias.
The women were informed verbally of
full terms of their involvement.
The women were given the right to
refuse to participate and drop out at
any point of the work.
Confidentiality of personal information
including contact details and
attendance registers were stored
securely and all computers with
information were password protected.
To protect anonymity, identities, names
and stories have been edited through
the report.

It has been five

years and I still have
not got a divorce
from him.

mouthpiece report


4.0 The Process

4.1 Time and Resources

He used to abuse me
and beat me up. I never
was able to go out and
across the road. He
controlled my entire life. I
had left all my family and
friends for him, I did no
know anyone here. I knew
I had a probationary period
where he would have to
renew my visa. I used to
ask him all the time when
he was going to renew it
but he would laugh and
just ignore me. Until one
day he beat me up so
badly and threw me out on
the streets in the middle
of the night. I called the
police and they came but
they arrested me and took
me to the police station
because my husband had
told them that I was an
illegal immigrant!!! I was
locked in a police cell for
two days until a distant
relative came to bail me


mouthpiece report

The engagement with WNRPF began

in January 2008. A graphic designer
was commissioned to facilitate the
artistic iNeed work and two drama
practitioners volunteered to engage
with the women to develop the drama,
The Central Lancashire Race Equality
Team overlooked and managed the
entire project.
A cost of 3000 was used from Central Lancashire
PCT and an additional 950 was funded by CSIP
northwest to develop the drama.

4.2 How this process worked

A community engagement method

was used to engage with the women.
The MHRET wanted to build ongoing,
permanent relationships for the
purpose of applying a collective vision
to ultimately benefit the women.
The community engagement was
supported greatly by the strong
partnership links the mental health
race equality team had with other
partners. (See Page 30 - 31)
The engagement was intended to
gain an in-depth understanding of the
womens experiences from the unique
perspective of each of its participant.
Though the group size was small the
quality of the information was vast,

detailed and personal. Experiences

were explored that would be difficult
to assess quantitatively with a bigger
group. The size of the group also
helped yield descriptions from various
points of view. Furthermore this
allowed room to explore in-depth how
participants experience by asking
further questions for clarification and
elaboration, which for this type of work
was both practical and ethical for
working with vulnerable women.
Initially there was a total number of
12 women, however five dropped out
before the first focus group session
and when asked why? One woman
said: I fear repercussions from my exhusband and in-laws (Mrs N).
Barriers for some WNRPF to get
involved was because the project
was not a priority in their lives. They
had many more complex issues and
problems with immigration, financial
difficulties and family commitments
that were more important and took up
most of their time.
The women that attended had
issues around transport and were
uncomfortable and not confident to
use public transport therefore they
had to personally be picked up and
dropped off for each session.

The creative art based techniques

were used to gain information and
profile WNRPF. Art based work can
be stimulated by creative activities this
can lead to feelings of empowerment.
Creative activity can tap into other
creative potential. This thinking has,
in turn, a direct benefit for life skills,
such as problem solving and coping
with challenges. This flexibility, which
is characteristic of creative thinking,
enhances the individuals ability to
cope with mental health much better.

However it was important to realise

that the arts based profiling would be
time consuming and labour intensive.
It was also difficult to generalise with
the information. The qualitative focus
group method initially proved to be
challenging as less confident women
were unwilling to express thoughts
and experiences in front of a larger

Dr Richard Smith, former editor of the

British Medical Journal has pointed
out that devoting only 0.5% of current
NHS spending to the arts (435m a year)
would immeasurably improve peoples
health. He also says that more and
more of lifes difficulties are being
medicalised. Medicine cannot solve
these problems.
If health is about adaptation,
understanding and acceptance, then
the arts may be more potent than
anything else medicine has to offer
(Smith, D 2006).

WNRPF are isolated, excluded,

vulnerable individuals. There is a lack
of awareness of their issues and

Drama and arts was used to make

the women realise their own potential.
It encouraged to improve their own
mental health and release that energy,
skills and desire for good health.

4.3 Why engage with women

with no recourse to public

To have greater understanding of not

just WNRPF issues but women from
BME communities who have NRPF.
To take a mental health well being
approach knowing that they fair worse
for basic human rights, housing,
social security, employment, children
services and health.
To inform and raise awareness of their
issues to services and communities
and in turn create more effective
services with better channels of
support available for women WNRPF.

mouthpiece report


When I was a child I

was very clever.
I wanted to be a
doctor when I grew
up. My father passed
away and my family
was poor. They did not
have enough money
to continue with my


mouthpiece report

I could not go too far

to study because I
had to look after my
family, so I went to
college close to my
home for two years
and learnt how to
sew clothes instead.
Then I got married
to him and came to

mouthpiece report


5.0 Profiling of
women with no
recourse to
public funds
5.1 Global and national context

5.2 Community Profile

Looking a the global picture, the

UK ranked 8th in the top ten
countries with the largest number of
international migrants in 2005 (United
Nations, Trends in Total Migrant Stock:
The 2005 Revision)
On a national scale below is a pie
chart showing immigration entry in the
UK of wives and fiancs.

This research was undertaken with

seven women who had come to the
UK for the probationary period of two
years on the basis of marriage.
4 from Pakistan, 2 From India and 1
from Thailand.

Age Group


Wives and fiancess

granted entry into
the UK for the
period in 2005
compiled from statistics on
immigration control
(Home Office - 2006)





South Asia
ther Asi
Other Nations


When I was a child

I wanted to be an air
hostess. I dreamt of
travelling the world and
seeing other countries. I
loved the idea of being a
woman in the sky, wearing
beautiful clothes and
smiling to all the customers
as I served them with their
food and drinks.


mouthpiece report

The profiling and the project was conducted in Preston as it was found that there
were women in Preston womens refuge who had no recourse to public funds.
Most of the women were from a South Asian background. It is a known fact that
South Asian women are 3times more likely to commit suicide. For e.g in Southall,
London one stretch of railway accounts for 1/3 of all railway suicides for the whole
of England. Most of the victims are south Asian Women fleeing domestic violence.
Central Lancashire has not reported similar statistics however a lack of action
could lead to an increase in suicides in a similar way.
Also it was common knowledge that there has been no meaningful improvement or
modernisation work conducted into the needs of WNRPF. This profiling and project
aims to begin this process.


The highest number of women were

under 24 and the two older women
25 years old and above had additional
pressures of children too.



Most of the women were Muslims,

one was Sikh and one was Buddist.
After Christians, Muslims make up the
majority of the population in Preston
at 8.24% Sikhs make up 0.56% and
Buddhists in Preston are 0.17%.
(Census 2001) Though small, the
sample size is representative of some
of the highest BME groups in the local


The majority of women had a very

basic level of English and most were
unable to read and speak English.
Most of the women spoke a South
Asian language and one woman
spoke Thai. This emphasises the need
for interpretation services for women
to access more help and support.

mouthpiece report


6.0 iNeed Project

6.1 Session 1

In January 2007 a focus group was

set up initially to get to know the
women. The themes/needs and
solutions that came out of this session
are as below.
1. More support to cope with the
range of mental health problems.
2. More control over their own lives.
3. Less stigma from their own
4. The need for English language.
5. More knowledge of legal rights and
6. More support from public services
especially, GPs and the police.
1. The main solutions were talking
therapies for the women.
2. Direct access by authorities into
homes to see how new immigrants
were settling.
3. More widely available information
and contacts especially at the time of
arrival in the UK.
4. More culturally appropriate policing.

6.2 Session 2

The women were given different

magazines/newspapers and asked to
cut out their likes and dislikes. Each
participant then reported back to the
group explaining why they had chosen
those images.The main themes that
came out of this was as below:


6.3 Session 3

This session concentrated on the

strengths and skills of the women and
it was found that many of the women
had strong talents and abilities in
various fields. The most prominent
skill/hobby that they enjoyed was
1. Trained beauty therapist
2. Singing
3. Acting/Drama/Dance
4. Cooking

Tthese are some

examples of artwork
from the montage


mouthpiece report

mouthpiece report


no rights

I have no rights to benefits,

but I have a right to dignity


6.4 Session 4

This was the beginning of the

iNeed project. Using the iconic
imagery style of Apples iPod (as below)
advertisements, it was intended to
recreate some posters that represent
the particular difficult position that the
women find themselves in.
The concept was relatively simple in
terms of the visual language, uses
fairly straight forward photographic &
graphic techniques and is anonymous
in the final image, this was absolutely
vital to preserve the anonymity of the
The main themes and captions that
came out of this session were.

6.5 Session 5

The women designed the iNeed shots

that represented the issues based on
personal experiences and the drama
practitioners supported them with this.
This allowed the women to express
themselves as they wanted.
The women took part in the imagery
and agreed on three keys messages
for the iNeed campaign.
iNeed my doctor to listen to me
6 out of 7 women were dissatisfied
with the help the received from their
GPs to deal with their mental health
after their abuse encountered by
husband and in-laws.

iNeed my rights
iNeed love/ respect/dignity

iNeed undertstanding
iNeed you to listen to me
iNeed you to see beyond my bride
iNeed you to make sure your son is
ready to marry me


iNeed you to see beyond my bride price

The women felt that they were treated
like objects that men and families
could buy and use as slaves.
iNeed dignity and respect
All the women agreed that as a result
of their physical/mental and sexual
abuse they had lost their dignity,
respect and confidence both with
husbands/in-laws and also with
services, especially the police. Due
to their lack of English language skills
they felt that the police ignored them
in times of crisis and interpreters were
not called to translate.


no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds


i need you to see beyond

my bride price!


no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds

ineed poster 2 copy.pdf



i am not your daughte

i am not your daughter,
but i am family

i need
no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds

i need this?

no voice, no rights
no recourse to public funds

mouthpiece report

mouthpiece report


6.1 Outlawed
Part 1
The women were interested in drama
therefore a drama practitioner was
commissioned to work with the
women. The women developed a
play that encapsulated their personal
experiences. It is a description of
feelings and isolation the women
suffered. The performance and script
was emotive and hard hitting, telling
stories of the womens experiences of
mental, sexual, physical and emotional
outlawed part 1 was a live
performance which has also been
developed into a professional film that
will be used as part of training.


mouthpiece report

mouthpiece report


6.2 Outlawed
Part 2
With the success and impact of part 1
on the women and the audiences, the
women felt empowered and motivated
to produce an Outlawed part 2. The
themes that the women wanted to
explore were around dreams and
childhood. As part of the developing
the play, the women drew life maps
that illustrated their journey.
The play is about the womens
journeys and their innocent dreams
from childhood to their present
situation. it is an abstract performance
that juxtaposes their dreams and the
reality of their domestic abuse.


mouthpiece report

mouthpiece report


7.0 Events and


Mouthpiece Launch

25th March 08

2nd Dec 08

Outlawed part 1 was performed live

at the Forgotten Women Conference
in Manchester. The aim of the event
was to launch sahelis research project
about Asian women with no recourse
to public funds. The audience
consisted off a range of service
providers and communities.

The womens group decided to

formalise themselves as Mouthpiece.
At the launch Mouthpiece projects
were showcased and training was
piloted. The event was targeted at
service providers and representatives
from the Police, G.Ps, Refuge and
Accident and Emergency staff.
Oct - Dec 08

The iNeed posters have been

exhibited at libraries and art galleries
across Central Lancashire Libraries
including Preston, Chorley, Leyland
and Ormskirk, from October 2008 to
December 2008.
Womens Voice
30th Jan 09

The Outlawed part 1 film was shown

and Outlawed part 2 was performed
live to a community audience in
Blackburn. the aim was to raise
awareness and combat stigma in BME
communities around domestic abuse.
There was a time back
home in Pakistan where
my family and me would fill
lots of charity bags to give
our clothes to the poor
I cannot believe that I am
in ENGLAND!!!.. and today
I am rummaging through
charity bags that people
have given me!


mouthpiece report

Lancashire Constabulary

7.1 Recommendations
The no recourse requirement under
the two year rule reinforces inequalities
and has a devastating impact on
victims. It needs to be abolished.
Urgent need for publicityabout service
provision to enable women to leave
their abusive relationships.
Raise awareness to communities
to dispel stigma and myth about
domestic abuse.
Need to do more work with
perpetrators of abuse.

Domestic abuse causes

considerable Mental Health
problems for victims. This needs
to be addressed and appropriate
services need to be offered to BMe
Specific domestic abuse services
and outreach services are crucial
to women who are trapped in their
abusive family homes.
It should be made compulsory for
health services to record domestic

More support is needed for victims.

Need clear guidelines/pathways for
all front line professionals to inform
service delivery in such situations.
More funds needed for existing
Services need bespoke training on
WNRPF and cultural issues.

2nd Feb 09

Bespoke training was designed and

delivered to lancashire Constabulary
to train the trainers. The training
concentrated on raising awareness of
BME domestic abuse, women with no
recourse to public funds and forced

Mouthpiece needs to be replicated

through various means, such as GPs
Need to educate and raise awareness
about domestic abuse and South
Asian women.

mouthpiece report


7.2 Evaluation
Feedback from workshop exercises
Felt frustrated, uncomfortable,
helpless and angry
A lot of taboo
Communication difficulties need
to think of alternative means of
communication eg visual drawings,
maps, photos etc
A lot of guesswork
Powerful exercise
Needed an interpreter
Cultural issues lack of knowledge
Bullying gang mentality
Bride has no voice, isolated, disempowered,
Felt uncomfortable making
Power trip
Cultural issues and differences
Feedback from events and training
Very well organised. Enjoyed the
workshops. Moving movie
The Live performance portrayed the
Refuge negatively.
In response to this we would say it is
the womens story and they wrote the
Issue of sexual abuse should be dealt
with in film.


mouthpiece report

Would you support and promote

service to organisations? In future?.

agencies for help.

Very informative but solution is still not

quite clear. If they have no recourse
where do they go? What happens?
This is the biggest problem with no
recourse, there is limited help with
limited information. Often the Refuge
will house them through charitable

It was very powerful, embarrassing

and evocative. (service provider)

Very good performance, so sad.

People still live like this today???
The real life drama was very emotive.
Their experience does help to
understand about no recourse to
funding and the reason why.

(non-specialist service provider)

It woke up people to its reality,

because this is reality, it was excellent
it certainly did its job. (service user)
It was visual and without a lot of
words it got over the message and the
impact of domestic abuse
(voluntary organisation worker)

A very emotion topic that needs more

public awareness, education and
media attention (police)

Excellent and very well executed

well done! PEP can assist wnrpf to
fund work.

It was good to speak to two very

good enthusiactic people who
obviously know a lor about the
subject (police)

I think it was a fantastic performance

from the ladies. There should be more
work like this in the future, a big well
done to all the team.

Good delivery and design for

inexperienced and experienced police
officers. But good for all organisations,
schools, colleges etc.. (police)

Its what a lot of the agencies just

hear about they dont really see whats
happening and until you dont really
see those emotions they dont really
hit home. So now hopefully its hit a
lot of people and now they know how
it feels when these women come to

A very informative lesson, as a civilian

trainer i do not come into contact with
this in my job so its good to have the
culture explained (police)

Feedback from the Women involved in

the Project
1. I have met friends and like minded
2. Before getting involved in this
project I thought I was the only person
who was going through this. Its
comforting to know that I am not the
only one and there many people that
are suffering the same.
3. I have gained experience and skills
4. I have gained confidence and my
English has improved.
5. I have the confidence to travel on
public transport now!
6. In the past I found it difficult
making eye contact with other people
because I had no confidence, but I feel
more comfortable and able to speak
my mind now.

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8.0 Action Plan

1. Design and deliver bespoke
training to various services, including
Constabularies, A & E and Gps.
2. Working with constabularies to
design and deliver training
3. Continue working on the training
4. Seek funding to deliver community
5. Generate income through
commissioned work.
6. Deliver Live performances to service
providers and communities.
7. Continue working on Mouthpiece
and replicating work through Social
All the results and findings will be
published on the mental health race
equality teams website. where viewers
can e-mail/ phone anonymously if they
wish to feedback on the project.

I lived a life of hell for two

years where it was just
HIM AND ME day in, day
out.. I did not know where
to go for help... until he
threw me out one day


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9.0 Future Work

Based on the findings there is
an opportunity for the women to
progress and improve their autonomy
and independence. When scoping
and finding potential women to be
involved, it was found that there was a
considerable amount of exploitation of
the women by their employers.
Some experiences included working
in a local food manufacturing factory
who would employ these vulnerable
women paying them low wages
requiring them to work long hours
with no or minimal breaks. Some of
the women had said they had done
cleaning jobs privately and would get
paid 20 a day and in one case one
woman said she did some cleaning for
a woman and never got paid for it.

the women Zainab Ali and Hajra

Sardar are independently managing
and supporting this enterprise. The
enterprise envisages to work on two
level; to seek funding and generate
income through commissioned work.
The drama practitioners who
volunteered in this project will continue
to support the women through the
social enterprise.
Outlawed the film has been developed
as a professional supportive DVD
alongside with training materials.
This training will be rolled out to
organisations and services that the
women want to inform and make
improvements to.

As a result, to make the work

sustainable and to provide a legal
income through royalties to the
women the MHRET will help develop
and support the women to become
a social enterprise, where the women
can utilise their skills and combat their
financial difficulties at the same time.
The enterprise needs to be more
sustainable to continue doing the work
that it has done in the community
and within services. Therefore
Mouthpiece has been launched as
a social enterprise, working with

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10.0 Conclusion
A major barrier to improving the lives
of WNRPF is the lack of targets set
by government. This means local
authorities and PCTs are reluctant
to invest in support for some of their
most disadvantaged people.
On the contrary it has been argued
that the UK needs to cut down on
immigration. Furthermore relaxing
the two year probationary rule will
encourage bogus claimants for British
More importantly, immigration needs
to be handled on a more human
level. Not everyone fits neatly into
predefined categories and try as it
might, a government cannot anticipate
the situation of every immigrant.

Graphic Design and Art direction - Chris Mason -

While this profile provides useful

insights into the experiences and
needs of WNRPF there remains a
need for further research on a larger
scale and with a bigger sample size;
and of other groups with no recourse
(see page 6). There is also a need
to study the needs and experiences
of women still living in abusive

A nation
should not
be judged by
how it treats
its highest
citizens but its
lowest ones
Nelson Mandela


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Soundskills is a community arts organisation that works with vulnerable and excluded groups in
the Ribbleton area of Preston. Soundskills has been commissioned to provide most of the artistic
support around film and photography.

Preston Womens Refuge

Preston Womens Refuge have many women who have NRPF who want to stay at the refuge but
unfortunately due to financial reasons they are unable to accommodate them all. Compared to
any other service the refuge is the strongest supporting mechanism offering accommodation and
immigration advice and general support to WNRPF. Most of the women that Mouthpiece has
worked with are from a refuge.

Drama Practitioner

Preston College

Preston College drama students have helped develop exercises and workshops for Mouthpiece.
Students at the College had little awareness of vulnerable BME womens issues. For example,
after watching the Outlawed film one student said that they thought all these problems arose from
religion. After informing the students and dispelling myths there was a raised understanding of
domestic abuse and BME women.

Womens Voice

Saheli- Manchester

Lancashire Constabulary

There is a lack of awareness of WNRPF in the Constabulary and the Constabulary recognises that
they have a training need to raise awareness of this issue to the police. Mouthpiece has worked
with Lancashire Constabulary to deliver training around WNRPF and domestic abuse in the
BME community. There are more opportunities for Mouthpiece to do some more work with the
Constabulary in the future.

Local GPs

A local female GP told us that she has an overwhelming percentage of BME female patients who
attend her womens drop in surgery. Even though all the women attend for medical physical
gynaecology problems most of them have mental health issues, usually caused by the stress of
husbands and extended family. They often talk to the GP as she is the only South Asian GP in
that particular area. The GP feels that it is not her role to be providing counselling and therapy
and often feels like she cannot help these women. Mouthpiece is scoping opportunities to work
more closely from GP surgeries to support vulnerable women.

mouthpiece report

Non BME practice managers find that women who are suffering from domestic violence do not
want to speak to South Asian male older GPs about their problems. They fear that they will
disclose their problems to others in the community. Instead they tend to offload to the practise
manager who cannot do anything but listen to the problems of the women. The problems range
from mild mental health to more severe mental health issues including self harm and attempted
suicides. One particular practise manager in a predominantly BME area suggested that it would
be useful to have a drop in at the surgeries. She said to use the surgery as a base is the best
option because it is often the only place that perpetrators of abuse eg, husbands/mother-in-laws
allow the women to go.

Maria Paul a drama practitioner from Liverpool has been working with the women from
Mouthpiece from the early developmental stages to the formation of the social enterprise. Maria
has provided professional drama and artistic skills to the women and directed the performances
and film.
Womens Voice is a voluntary group that aims to provide a platform to all women whos voices are
unheard. The group has been organised by a collective of professional women who offer advice
to vulnerable women. At the launch of Womens Voice Mouthpiece has performed Outlawed part
2, live and it was well received with positive feedback.


G.Ps Practice Managers

Saheli provides emergency, temporary refuge accommodation to vulnerable women and their
children who are fleeing domestic violence. They provide a range of safe and confidential services.
Saheli launched research findings of women with no recourse to public funds in Manchester on
?. Mouthpiece performed Outlawed part1 live at the event and was well received by a number
of community members and statutory organisations that attended the event. Mouthpiece would
like to develop further links with Saheli and other organisations that work closely with vulnerable
women/victims of domestic abuse.

Preston Imam (Minister of Religion)

A Preston Muslim Imam has been approached to develop links with the faith community in
Preston. The Imam already does some work and delivers sermons/talks on raising awareness of
the womens experiences of domestic abuse. There are individuals who are perpetrators of abuse
in communities and others who accept it therefore the Imam is a key contact for Mouthpiece to
work closely with and to raise awareness of their experiences in the community.

mouthpiece report


7-9 Langfield Rd
Preston PR2 6UY