Specialist language
support service

What is Access2safety?

The Access2safety service has been set-up to help overcome the barriers to services vulnerable Black and minority ethnic women can experience – particularly services for domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape, exploitation or abusive cultural practices.

For women and girls whose first language isn't English, services can only be accessed via interpreters. This is not always suitable for our client-base for some of the following reasons:

  • Interpreters are often male and feel unable to discuss sexual or intimate issues with a woman
  • Equally the woman may not wish to disclose rape, sexual abuse, domestic abuse or FGM to a male
  • Vulnerable women need to engage with a female they feel they can trust and who has specialist awareness of gender based violence and its surrounding issues
  • When female interpreters have been provided there may be concerns about confidentiality
  • The interpreter may be known to the service user as Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Scotland are small, so confidentiality may not be adhered to or may be perceived as not to be adhered to affecting trust levels
  • Many languages are simply not available in Interpreting services as generally interpreting provisions lag behind migration patterns. For example there has been a recent rise in arrival of women from Eritrea with very little female Tigrinya interpreters nationally
  • Some interpreters can speak the wrong dialect especially in languages where there is a shortage, (eg Arabic varies hugely and dialects are not mutually comprehensible)

We will work with you to ensure that the women you work with have the language support they need to make informed choices and access the correct services.

We provide culturally sensitive specialised language support, developed by our 27 years of experience and understanding of cultural diversity, violence against women (VAW), honour based violence (HBV) including female genital mutilation (FGM), mental ill health and trauma.

Our Specialised Language Support Workers are:

  • Robustly trained to understand and recognise VAW, HBV, and trauma responses as well as confidentiality and good practice language support.
  • We speak over 30 languages and dialects and can provide language support face to face, through encrypted video (coming soon), and on the phone anywhere in Scotland.

Languages spoken include:

  • Arabic
  • Amharic
  • Bajuni
  • Chichewa
  • Farsi
  • Flemish
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kurdish-Sorani
  • Luganda
  • Mandarin
  • Norwegian
  • Punjabi
  • Rutooro
  • Sariky
  • Sindhi
  • Swahili
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tigrinya
  • Tumbuka
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

If you require a language which is not on the list, please contact us and we will try our best to accommodate your language needs.

Access2safety has been funded by the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund through the Violence against Women funding stream. Access2safety contributes to the Social Enterprise and Fairer Scotland Action Plans and to Shifting the Curve, by combating inequality of isolated and vulnerable women.