The Queen visits the Ashiana Network

Published

The Queen met staff and clients at the community-based project which supports for South Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish women and girls who are experiencing domestic violence.

Queen Camilla during a visit to Ashiana women's refuge in London. Picture date: Wednesday December 6, 2023.

The Ashiana Network is community-based project first established in 1989. It grew from a need for safe housing for young south Asian women who were experiencing familial domestic violence and began as a seven-bed house with resettlement support, becoming an independent charity in 1994.

The Network has since expanded to provide a range of services for South Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish women and girls.

Her Majesty was shown the facility by former refuge resident Ayda Nemati, who arrived in the UK in 2009 with her husband, before being sold to another man without her passport or visa. Ms Nemati was kept as a prisoner for a year and a half before managing to escape to the refuge, where she remained for four years before being supported to move in to her own accommodation.

The Queen spent time with residents at the refuge who have recently escaped systematic violence, and heard about the charity’s pioneering work to end violence against women and girls. The Queen has long been a champion of preventing violence against women, becoming Patron of the UK charity, SafeLives, in February 2021.

The Ashiana Network supports South Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish women who have experienced traumas including domestic and sexual violence, forced marriage, honour-based violence, financial abuse, coercive control and immigration-related abuse.

During the visit, The Queen also met key staff including the Director of the Ashiana Network, Shaminder Ubdi, and representatives from partner organisations such as the GMSP Foundation and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Queen Camilla during a visit to Ashiana women's refuge in London. Picture date: Wednesday December 6, 2023.

The Queen’s work on preventing violence against women

For several years, The Queen has worked to highlight the efforts of domestic abuse charities and their work to support victims and survivors, both in the UK and overseas, with the aim of breaking the taboo around the subject.

Find out more about Her Majesty's work in this area. 

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