Over the past weeks we have seen communities across the globe united in an outpouring of anger and frustration with institutional racism and the intent to drive much needed societal change. Many have made public declarations, condemning the widespread racism experienced by many Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities across the world and much closer to home.

Safer Places did not immediately publish a statement as we felt this situation deserved an authentic, considered, reflective and accountable response setting out our intention to take remedial action.

This letter is a declaration of our position and is something we wanted to share directly with our staff teams, our partners and the communities that we serve as we recommit to our work on equality, diversity and inclusion.

We recognise that racism and discrimination are apparent both blatantly and covertly across all levels of society. As an organisation providing services for a diverse community we know we have an important role to play in dismantling biases and systemic oppression and we are committed to doing our part in the hard task of removing racism and discrimination from our society.

Safer Places stand against racism and have zero tolerance of discriminatory behaviour. We actively seek to eliminate any conditions, procedures or individual behaviours that can lead to discrimination. We see embracing diversity at the heart of who we are but recognise that we have a way to go in developing and maintaining a proactive anti-racist approach across our organisation.

We recognise the importance of intersecting oppression and experiences in the identities of our communities. Black and minority ethnic communities experience both structural racism and domestic and sexual abuse and we need you to know that our services are for everyone experiencing or at risk of abuse. We also know that we cannot authentically challenge this oppression without challenging ourselves and critiquing the outcomes of our commitment to equality and diversity.

During this year we will be developing a new Equality and Diversity Strategy, addressing all forms of discrimination and we want to ensure our teams, partners and clients have a say in what we plan to do. Inequalities can only be addressed as we understand the lived experiences of those who have been systematically disadvantaged. We invite everyone who has used our services or worked alongside us to share their experiences, concerns and ideas with us, to further our understanding and inform our action.

We ask our staff, partners and our communities to join us on what will be a journey in challenging racism and helping to hold us to account for our own actions and outcomes.

To share your experiences, concerns, ideas and opinions please contact us via email at [email protected]