Stay Safe East
Disabled people are 3 times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled people. Disability hatred leads to murder, yet hate crime against disabled people is under-reported and rarely comes to court.
Disabled women are twice as likely as non-disabled women to be victims of domestic violence, women with learning difficulties most likely to be raped or sexually assaulted. Stay Safe East was set up to challenge the barriers to justice and to accessing support services faced by Deaf and disabled people.
“They think just because I’ve got a learning disability, I don’t know it’s wrong to treat me like that. I just want to be safe and live my life.”
How we will support you
We listen to your story. We give you time to tell us what happened. It might be the first time you have told someone, or you might have told many people but nothing has happened. Most of our staff and volunteers are disabled people, and we understand how difficult it can be to speak out about abuse or bullying.
We make sure your access or communication needs are met: We can explain things in easy words, or we can provide a BSL (British Sign Language) or spoken language interpreter when you meet with us. We will make sure that other agencies working with you meet these needs too. We agree a plan with you to keep you safe, and what actions you want us to help you with – for example help to tell the police, or to find a safe place to live.
We put together the evidence that is needed, for example for the police to take action, or for you to get an injunction to stop the person who is harassing you. We work with the police to make sure they record and investigate the crime. If it is a hate crime, we can report it to the police without giving your name, so they know there is a problem in that area.
We come to meetings with you and help you speak for yourself, or speak out for you if you are not ready to do that. We can help you to access other support services: counselling, support groups, college etc
We work to help you get a care package, benefits, transport etc. Because we are a disabled people’s organisation that knows about local services, we can advise you about your rights to services and help you negotiate the system.
If we can’t help on a particular issue, we will do our best to find someone who can!
We provide advocacy and support to disabled people that are experiencing any sort of abuse, harassment or violence.
We support disabled people in Waltham Forest, Newham, and sometimes in other East London boroughs.
We provide advocacy and support for victims and survivors in dealing with the police, courts, housing, social services and other agencies.
Support when approaching the police or going to court
We also provide peer support through our Women’s Group.
Since 2010, Stay Safe / Stay Safe East has supported over 200 disabled people – providing a listening ear, helping people report incidents of abuse to the police, social services, transport or housing providers. We also support our users through court cases, and help them access benefits or get re-housed after domestic violence or hate crime.
What is disability hate crime?
A disability hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.
This includes anyone targeted as a result of their physical disability, sensory impairment, learning disability or mental health needs. Hate crimes and incidents can be committed against a person or property.
What does an advocate do?
If you have been the victim of bullying or abuse, it can feel as if you have no control over your life. Our advocates will support you to make choices. We will help you take control again.
Stay Safe East advocates work in partnership with you. We will tell you about the choices you have. We will help you work out a plan to keep you as safe as possible. We will speak out for you if you want us to, or help you speak out for yourself. We are there for you when you need us for as long as you need us.