Chinese Information and Advice Centre
Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC) is a UK registered charity established in 1982 providing legal advice, information, support and advocacy to the disadvantaged Chinese community. We support women and children victims of domestic and sexual violence to access benefits, healthcare and legal services. We advise on immigration and asylum laws to facilitate better integration of the ethnic Chinese. We eliminate the inequality amongst the Chinese families who are disadvantaged due to their lack of proficiency in English language and literacy, in accessing mainstream benefits and healthcare system. This service is extended to the asylum seekers and refugees on welfare and support. We provide advice and linguistic support for the homeless and the rough sleepers who are ethnic Chinese in the City of Westminster to secure housing and overcome the effects of homelessness.
CIAC is a recognised third party reporting centre by the West End and Chinatown Safer Neighbourhoods Team. It primarily targets the Chinese community who need to report an incident which may require police help. A 24 hours helpline is dedicated for the women who need help to address the violence against them.
CIAC collates and disseminates information and operates a social enterprise in translation and interpretation services. CIAC also acts as the Voice of the Chinese Community on their daily life issues. We host community surgeries and workshops in collaboration with the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police and the local Council.
CIAC’s role within the consortium
CIAC is proud to be a member of the women consortium, ASCENT, providing support to women survivors or women who are subject to the risk of domestic and sexual violence in London. We provide advice to women living in Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Tower Hamlets and Westminster. Apart from the generic advice, we provide specialist advice to the ethnic Chinese women to access services and information needed to make choices without cultural and linguistic barriers. This initiative is divergent from the mainstream as it relates to the specific social and cultural contexts which constitute the women. We provide advices in Chinese dialects (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese and English. The scope of service includes:
- Domestic violence victim support
- Confidential advice e.g. on safety choice
- Emotional support
- Refuge or temporary accommodation referrals
- Referral to family or immigration solicitors
- Housing and welfare benefits advice
- Promoting the awareness of domestic violence in media and workshops
- Referral to counselling services
- Confidence building support
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