Who we are
Bawso was established in 1995 by a small group of black and minoritised women in Cardiff, who were concerned about the appropriateness of services provided to victims of domestic abuse. We rented a room with a desk, chair and telephone, and began to raise awareness within black and minoritised communities, with government, statutory bodies, and third sector service providers.
Over the years Bawso pioneered work in areas long before they became the subject of widespread public interest and legislation including forced marriage (FM), female genital mutilation (FMG), honour-based violence (HBV), and most recently, modern slavery and trafficking.
Bawso services now extend across Wales, employing over one hundred trained and experienced staff and numerous volunteers. With a turnover of £4.6 million a year we are funded by central government in Westminster, devolved government in Cardiff Bay, Local Authorities, Police Crime Commissioners, other statutory bodies, Foundations, Trusts, philanthropists, and community-based fundraising activities.
Bawso runs purpose-built Refuges, safe-houses, one-stop-shop facilities, Floating Support for survivors in the community, and specialist projects for each area of violence and exploitation of women and girls, men and boys. We support over 6,000 individuals every year and each year these numbers increase.
Work in the field is complimented by a 24-hour Helpline, a Training Department committed to the continual improvement of Bawso services and the skills of Bawso staff, and the provision of awareness training to outside agencies, professionals and practitioners including the Police, General Practitioners, NHS staff, Teachers, and Civil Servants. Bawso also has a large and dedicated Interpretation and Translation Department of accredited workers.
Bawso is governed by a Board of highly accomplished and experienced black and minoritised women and men from the communities they serve. Bawso staff and volunteers are also from black and minoritised communities in Wales, giving them a unique understanding of the cultures, religions, and languages of service users and their communities.
That all people in Wales live free from abuse, violence, and exploitation.
To advocate for, and deliver specialist services to, black and minoritised victims of abuse, violence, and exploitation in Wales.
- We are committed to non-judgemental working with a zero tolerance of abuse, violence, and exploitation.
- We adhere to high professional standards of practice, being respectful, empathetic, sensitive, and honest.
- We maintain integrity, transparency, and accountability in everything we do.
- We provide readily available and easily accessible services.
- We raise awareness of all forms of abuse and violence both within black and minoritised communities, and with government, and civil society in Wales.
- We always challenge racism and all forms of inter-sectional inequality, injustice, and discrimination.