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‘Horrific abuse’: Racist backlash forces Ngozi Fulani to suspend UK charity’s operations

Ngozi Fulani was mortified to be asked where she came from at a royals charity event. Photo: Getty

Ngozi Fulani was mortified to be asked where she came from at a royals charity event. Photo: Getty

A charity led by a domestic abuse campaigner who was repeatedly asked where she “really came from” at Buckingham Palace has had to pause its operations over safety fears.

Sistah Space, which supports women of African and Caribbean heritage who have been affected by domestic and sexual abuse, said it was “forced to temporarily cease” many of its operations after Ngozi Fulani spoke out about her treatment by Lady Susan Hussey.

Chaity founder Ms Fulani said she had suffered “horrific abuse” on social media after the royal repeatedly challenged her when she said she was British.

In a statement on its Instagram page on Friday night, Sistah Space said: “Thank you for the continued support and messages. Unfortunately recent events meant that we were forced to temporarily cease many of our operations to ensure the safety of our service users and our team.”

The statement said they were “overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement” and look forward to “fully reinstating our services as soon as safely possible”.

Ms Fulani had earlier expressed her shock over her treatment by Lady Susan – Prince William’s godmother and the late Queen’s lady-in-waiting.

The charity founder said she and her team had received “horrific abuse via social media”.

Lady Susan, 83, resigned from the household and apologised after she repeatedly challenged Ms Fulani when she said she was British at the Queen Consort’s reception highlighting violence against women and girls.

Ms Fulani earlier told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the royal had also touched her hair during the encounter.

“I was stood next to two other women – black women – and she (Lady Susan) just made a beeline for me and she took my locks and moved it out of the way so that she could see my name badge,” she said.

‘Trying to make me unwelcome’

“That’s a no-no. I wouldn’t put my hands in someone’s hair and culturally it’s not appropriate.”

Ms Fulani said the comments were down to racism, not Lady Susan’s age.

“I’ve heard so many suggestions it’s about her age and stuff like that and I think that’s a kind of a disrespect about ageism,” she said on BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“Are we saying that because of your age you can’t be racist or you can’t be inappropriate?

“If you invite people to an event, as I said, against domestic abuse, and there are people there from different demographics, I don’t see the relevance of whether I’m British or not British.

“You’re trying to make me unwelcome in my own space.”

-AAP

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