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The CCME and the London based Center Al Hasaniya publish "Breaking the violent silence"

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

The Council of the Moroccan Community -living- Abroad (CCME) has recently published the book "Breaking the violent silence", published by the Center "Al Hasaniya". It features testimonials from abused women, generally domestic, gathered and assembled by activists of the London-based NGO.

In an interview, Ms. Souad Talsi, the co-founder of the Al Hasaniya Center and member of the Council of the Moroccan Community -living- Abroad (CCME), says that the book is "based on real stories of women who have experienced violence in silence", particularly as the Center has collected more than 5,477 calls during the first year of the pandemic and dealt with more than 500 real cases of domestic violence.

According to her, this is a testament to the millions of women who are victims of violence around the world and who continue "to live in silence", often with no way to get help. This is all the more crucial given that, according to the United Nations, more than 243 million women have suffered violence in the last year of the pandemic," added the Moroccan women's activist in Britain.

According to Ms. Talsi, domestic and spousal violence is an important item of the Center's work and the recommendation of its funders to support as many as 143 cases per year. In the first three months of the pandemic : "we predicted the numbers would go up, but we didn't expect them to be this high. From March to July 2020, we treated more than 234 cases, exceeding all expectations," she added.

" We really need to raise awareness, mainly because women from ethnic minorities do not have the usual cultural notions when it comes to being abused and suffer in silence," stressed Ms Talsi.

As for the main cases the Center has identified, Ms. Talsi said they are primarily related to the elderly and isolation. For this age group, the Center provides a range of social activities and an advocacy programme. The other category is composed of 60-year-olds who have suffered all forms of violence throughout their lives and endured raising their children.

The Center has also seen the arrival of women since the beginning of the pandemic, mainly from Spain and Italy. Families, she explained, need help to get their children into school, register for social security, find accommodation, get a job and generally learn their way around the British way of life. "We try to help them there too," she said.

The Al Hasaniya Center then reported on a new wave of immigration from Morocco to England. "These are women who, for 90%, meet their partners on social networks and marry them. Many of them experience domestic violence while living with their husbands in England. The reintegration process takes between 12 and 18 months before a victim can live independently," according to Ms Talsi.

"Since our target is Moroccan women in particular, we feel that the Moroccan government has a duty of care to support and recognise our work," she concluded.

The Moroccan women's Center "Al Hasaniya" was created in 1985 to support Moroccan migrant women. It has since become a Center with more than 20 permanent members serving both the Moroccan community and Arabic-speaking women.

The President of the Center, Ms Souad Talsi, is also a representative on the NMWAG (National Muslim Women's Advisory Group in Britain) and the MRAP (Migrant and Refugee Advisory Panel) whose role is to advise the Mayor of London on the best strategy to adopt towards migrants and refugees living in London. She became the first Moroccan migrant to be decorated by Queen Elizabeth and awarded the prestigious title of MBE (Member of the British Empire) for her social actions and her civic involvement.


In July 2017, "Al Hasaniya" was granted special consultative status by the United Nations Committee on NGOs, a distinction that concerns NGOs internationally recognized for their particular competence in certain fields of activity by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

with MAP

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