Sisters Not Strangers report: Hear us

The Sisters Not Strangers coalition surveyed 115 refugee and asylum-seeking women about how they have survived during the pandemic.

Women who were already living in poverty before the outbreak, told us that they had been made even more vulnerable to hunger and ill health.

The report found that:

  • Three quarters of women surveyed went hungry during the pandemic, including mothers who struggled to feed their children.
  • A fifth of women surveyed were homeless, relying on temporary arrangements with acquaintances for shelter, or sleeping outside or on buses.
  • More than 20 of the women surveyed said they did not feel able to go to the NHS even when they or a family member had COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • The vast majority (82%) said that their mental health had worsened during the crisis, because of isolation and being cut off from support services.
  • The organisations who produced the report had all supported women trapped in abusive or exploitative situations during the pandemic, including women forced to do unpaid work for shelter and women living with violent partners.

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