Click to download: Self-Help Children
Questions about your family situation
Please email your answers to email@example.com to help us know what your situation is and the help you might need. Any information you send is confidential.
Do you live in London or outside?
How many children do you have?
Are your children living with you? If not, where are they?
How old are they?
Are you a single parent?
Is the children’s father on their birth certificate?
When did your case start?
Have you suffered domestic violence? Did you report it? What was the outcome?
Do you or your children have a disability?
Are social services/CAFCASS involved in your case?
What stage is your case at now e.g. do you have any court cases, meetings with social services or CAFCAS coming up?
If so what date and what are they about?
Do you have a lawyer and if so what firm are they from and what are they saying they can do to help you?
Do you have other support from friends, family, carers?
What particular help do you need?
Support not Separation launched at moving powerful meeting
Thank you to all who attended the launch of the coalition Support not Separation (SnS) on 11 July. The room was packed. People spoke movingly and with great power from their own experience. Four MPs attended: Emma Lewell-Buck, shadow minister for children and families; Sarah Champion, shadow minister for women and equalities; shadow chancellor John McDonnell; and Mohammad Yasin, newly elected to represent Bedford.
The detailed report below has quotes from those who spoke and lists the proposals made; you can also watch the speeches.
If you would like to join or to be involved in other ways, including by helping with case work, please let us know. SnS’s statement of aims, members so far are on LAW’s website and you can download the dossier Suffer the little Children & their Mothers.
SUPPORT NOT SEPARATION
A coalition to end the unwarranted and damaging separation
of children from their mother or other primary carer
Tuesday 11 July 6-8pm
Wilson Room in Portcullis House, Westminster, SW1A 2JR
Westminster tube Wheelchair accessible
(Please allow time to go through security.)
Organisations and individuals directly affected.
Hosted by Emma Lewell-Buck MP
For information contact: Legal Action for Women
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7482 2496
The unwarranted removal of children is not an aberration of the past or The Handmaid’s Tale of the future. Thousands of mothers are being labelled ‘unfit’ and treated as mere surrogates right now.
Parliament, 18 Jan 2017
Hundreds of people around the UK have written to prospective parliamentary candidates about ending the deliberate policy of destitution faced by people seeking asylum in Britain. The responses show a big difference in the approach of the main political parties.
The Conservatives stood by their policy of deliberate destitution. One typical response justified the current weekly income of £36 per person for someone seeking asylum by saying
“. . . research was undertaken into the actual cost of particular essential items including food stuff, clothing, toiletries, household cleaning stuff, non-prescription medication as well as travel and communication. They even went on to claim that “ . . . asylum support payments provided to larger household groups comfortably exceeded what is necessary to meet essential living needs.”
Minimum income standards research shows that a single person needs £328 a week to cover material needs and allow participation in society.[i] Benefits for UK nationals of £73.10 a week for a single person are “incapable of providing a healthy diet as well as other necessities.”[ii] People seeking asylum are living on half that amount. The assessment of “essential living expenses” referred to has been widely criticised as it did not allow for toys for children, assigned only £3 a week for travel and claimed that no money was needed to maintain a social life of any kind. Before the election was called, the Conservative government were to cut all support to “failed” asylum seekers including families.
APPEAL from LEGAL ACTION FOR WOMEN
– a grassroots legal service
Are you a lawyer, a former social worker or legally trained? Can you help us to stop the unjust separation of children from their mothers?
Legal Action for Women’s new Dossier Suffer the Little Children & their Mothers, documenting women’s struggle for justice in the family courts in England, was launched in January at a packed meeting in the House of Commons. Publicity about it in the Guardian sparked a correspondence over two days: CoramBAAF challenged Prof. Andy Bilson’sresearch quoted in the Dossier and this was followed by several responses supporting our findings.
We are now receiving calls and emails from all over the country from mums and couples who are fighting to stop adoptions, get children back from care and stop violent fathers having contact or residence of their children.
We are a grassroots legal service with a well-established track record. We are based on collective self-help, providing information and support so people can decide how they want to fight their case. As cases often involve more than one issue, we work with other organisations based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre, such as Black Women’s Rape Action Project, Women Against Rape, Single Mothers’ Self Defence and WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities). Our insistence that no case is “hopeless” and that something can always be done has won LAW recognition from lawyers, as well as civil rights and community organisations.
Fighting to win asylum from rape: the case of Erioth Mwesigwa
SIAN EVANS 20 February 2017
When Erioth Mwesigwa came to the self-help group we help coordinate, she said nothing. She said nothing at the second meeting either but she looked a little less wary and withdrawn. But then she started chatting to other women in the All African Women’s Group in North London. By the time Erioth came to her fourth meeting she was standing up to report on the help she had given a woman who was under threat of losing her child. Within six months she was speaking about asylum seekers being denied health care at a meeting to save the NHS in Camden Council’s Chambers — such is the power of collective action.
Erioth was imprisoned and raped by soldiers in Uganda over 30 years ago because her husband was suspected of opposing the president. He escaped and was given asylum in the UK. Erioth didn’t. After she escaped from prison she hid with her godfather until she was recognised. She fled from his home, but her godfather was killed by soldiers who came to find her. She was hidden in an orphanage by a priest where, until she was recognised and had to flee again, she never left the compound. More discoveries and more escapes followed until in 2002 she ran out of places to hide. Erioth was being ordered to trap her husband into returning to Uganda. Friends warned her she would be killed and organised for her to come to England.
After nearly 14 years living in the UK, Erioth was detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.