20th January 2021   •   article
'Coercive control is normal in Sikh families' - West Midlands police told a women's charity

by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
A Midlands-based charity has said a women it was helping was told by a West Midlands Police officer that "coercive control is normal in Sikh families" and there is nothing they could do to help her.

The incident drew outrage from women's groups and other community organisations.

The claim was made by SWAN Empower, a community based organisation run by Sikh women across Birmingham, Sandwell and Walsall regions. It aims to "tackle the negative impact of cultural influences, and specifically where this influence can lead to the exploitation of women".

On Tuesday it posted this tweet

The account added in response to an Asian woman: "Kay we are seeing this a lot. Victims turned away, statement taken then nothing happens and case closed, sexual abuse cases not taken seriously, child sexual abuse incident which should be taken most seriously offered telephone statement while peodophile walks free. No updates"

Numerous women spoke out in response

West Midlands Police said they were looking into the incident.

The charity is already struggling. Last week it emerged that Labour's Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem has cut funding for women's groups to redirect money to victims of hate crime.

SWAN had received £20,000 from the fund last year and will have to lay off three case workers in light of the decision, reducing the its ability to support vulnerable victims.
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