How Asha started

Asha was started by a group of women who met regularly in the 1970s to discuss issues that affected them as South Asian women. They started to campaign for their rights on issues like racism and immigration.

Soon they needed their own space, so they established an advice centre and called their organisation Asha, meaning 'hope'. They found that South Asian women and children who wanted to escape domestic violence had nowhere to go. Refuges for women did exist but Asian women going there felt isolated. They met linguistic, cultural and religious barriers and they faced racism.

The group went on to establish separate refuges for South Asian women and Asha was established in 1984 providing services for women escaping domestic violence.