Community team learns about women in asylum

VULNERABLE people in our communities can now be better supported by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service after a number of community safety advisors spent a day learning about women and asylum.

Community Safety Advisors Wendy Hall, Julie Roberts, Robina Yasmin and Sofina Duloth Joy went to the event called Women and Asylum to learn more about people they might encounter while doing their day-to-day roles.

The four of them are some of the CSAs who have particular responsibilities for bridging cultures and are particularly likely to encounter those facing the issues that were discussed at the seminar.

CSA Wendy Hall said: "For me, it was a really enlightening day - what these women go through is a process and often they are not seen as people.

"It was quite intense and some of it was very emotional to hear, especially listening to the individual case studies."

Women in Asylum conference

Women and Asylum was a conference organised by the British Red Cross in Manchester earlier this month.

The sessions were particularly useful because it gave those attending an overview of the asylum process and what it is like for women to go through it, some insights into women who have faced violence and their access to justice, how people dealing with trauma are dealt with by the asylum system and were given individual case studies.

"The whole thing links together," said Wendy. "I had a little bit of knowledge about this process but we could come across people involved in the process on our own on a daily basis.

"It is a bit scary when you think you might be that one person that someone struggling decides to confide in."

Wendy said that the day delved deeper into issues that people in many areas of Greater Manchester could be facing such as forced marriage, conflicts between their traditions and the culture they are now living in and issues associated with being separated from family, whether forced or by choice.

Wendy added: "It raises your awareness of how intimidated some people might be when you go out and see them. The uniform might be seen as a negative by people who've gone through something elsewhere and we need to break down those barriers."

Wendy, Julie, Robina and Sofina are part of the Prevention teams for Tameside and Stockport, Manchester, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale and Salford and Trafford respectively.

Last update: 31/05/2012 17:06:15
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