Our story Our story Our story Panahghar have been supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) survivors and their families of domestic, sexual and other gendered abuse for over 40 years. Founded in 1980 in Coventry, the name Panahghar is an Urdu word meaning ‘safehouse’ and was specifically chosen so that Asian women could understand what we stood for; a place of safety and protection. Panahghar began as a women-led charity to provide safe refuge to Asian women in Coventry. Over the years, as communities grew and diversified, we were able to expand our services to include refuge, support, advice and outreach to our Black and Minority Ethnic survivors, their families as well as male service users. Specialist Black and Minority Ethnic abuse support As communities changed, Panahghar adapted to meet the needs of our service users and we now provide dedicated BAME services across Coventry, Leicester and the West Midlands. At Panahghar, we strongly believe that it is crucial to provide specialist and expert support, advice and safe refuge to the BAME community in the UK. We are proud that we are a women-led by-and-for specialist BME provider and have developed tailored support and specialist knowledge around victims’ cultural needs, sensitivities and potential barriers to help them in their time of need. Our services We currently provide supported refuge in Coventry and Leicester as well as several other services such as a dedicated BAME multi-lingual helpline providing support, advice and advocacy and access to safe refuge for survivors. We also work in partnership alongside Roshni and SWAN to provide a West Midlands forced marriage & ‘honour’ based abuse helpline for those at risk. As well as a ‘Safe to Talk’ helpline service run in partnership with Coventry Haven for victim and family advice, information and community-based support including a children and young people’s provision. Our mission is to provide specialist BAME services that are reliable and consistent to service users. We strive to ensure that service users are comfortable and receive tailored support to meet their needs. We achieve this through: Providing multi-lingual services in as many languages as we can. Employing staff members from a variety of cultural backgrounds to assist in understanding different cultural issues affecting service users. Providing safe refuge to service users and their children. Raising awareness about domestic, sexual and gendered abuse amongst different communities and professionals. Providing Independent Domestic Violence Advocate provision and outreach community services to support survivors in their own environment. Advocacy on no recourse to public funds and immigration issues affecting the BME community. “I felt safe and I was listened to in my own language. I was given advice and support with things I didn't understand the staff are a similar culture to me so I felt safe I could talk freely. If I didn't have a place to go where everyone around other women and staff were from my culture I would not be brave to leave.” Domestic Abuse Survivor Our future To this day, Panahghar stand to work tirelessly to relieve poverty, physical and mental distress, domestic violence and abuse of BME survivors. As an ambitious BME and women-led organisation, we continue to grow and broaden our services so that we can reach and offer as much support as we can to our communities and work towards BME lives free from violence. We are proud to be a member of Women's Aid and accredited by Imkaan.