Supporting women affected by abuse

Our story

“Aanchal” is the Hindi word for a covering for the head, as is worn by Asian women. The word commonly symbolises protection, comfort and safety, which are the same principles at the core of all our work.


Aanchal Women’s Aid was founded by Sudarshan (“Su”) Bhuhi when a woman needed support to safeguard her children from being taken to South Asia against her will. Su, a survivor herself, took a stand to protect her children from further harm. You can read more about Su’s story on the “Our team” page.


Aanchal grew from strength to strength through word of mouth. Developing in direct response to demand, escalating into multiple projects decided by service users and designed by Aanchal Women’s Aid Trustees and Projects staff for safeguarding and infrastructure so that the best can be delivered at all times, well managed but never losing sight of the woman that knocks on our doors. From the very early days, there are great memories of women and children enjoying their summers with other families together, never alone. In the winters, warm nights out to the theatre, cinema and skating, just finally being part of society whilst putting their and their children’s lives back on the platform for happier and safer lives. We thank the many women who stood by us in the developing and campaigning years, raising their voices to improve systems and laws which have transformed the base of casework and multi-agency partnerships approach to end domestic violence.


We are based in Redbridge and in Newham where we have deep roots since 1984. We provide support and services to help women in the rescue, rehabilitation and rebuilding of their lives after the trauma of abuse. We work within communities where women’s basic rights are often either ignored or there is a lack of awareness about women’s rights both within the home and in the wider social community.


Domestic Abuse is endemic in our society and its effects are far reaching and devastating. It is our belief that violence in the wider society has its roots in the home. We are committed to addressing and reforming the social structures and cultural conditions that allow violence and abuse to persist in the community.

Aanchal is dedicated to saving lives and safeguarding future generations from the scourge of domestic abuse.