SBS Needs Your Help To Protect Migrant Women Subject To Domestic Abuse
The Domestic Abuse Bill has been described as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to provide safety and protection to survivors of domestic abuse. However, as it stands, it does not include protection for migrant women, who remain trapped in dangerous and abusive circumstances due to their insecure immigration status and the operation of the No Recourse to Public Funds condition. These women are excluded from accessing protection from the state and effectively denied routes to safety that are available to other victims of abuse. Listen to the powerful testimonies of abused migrant survivors who talk of the struggles they face to survive.
On Monday, 6 July 2020, the Bill will reach a critical stage – the Report Stage – of the Domestic Abuse Bill that will see amendments being tabled before all MPs for a vote. This is a vital opportunity for MPs to vote for the three amendments outlined below which, if passed, can strengthen existing provisions for the protection and support of migrant survivors of abuse.
Please can you write to your MP to request that they vote for the three amendments at the Report Stage:
- New Clause 22: Recourse to public funds for domestic abuse survivors.
This seeks to ensure that certain provisions under the Immigration Acts – including exclusion from public funds, certain types of support and assistance and the right to rent – do not apply to survivors of domestic abuse. There will be a review into the operation of this provision after 12 months of the Act being passed.
- New Clause 26: To enable domestic abuse survivors to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This clause would make provision in the immigration rules for the granting of indefinite leave to remain to migrant survivors of domestic abuse and limited leave to remain to a survivor who is eligible to make an application for indefinite leave to remain.
- New Clause 27: To protect domestic abuse survivors from data-sharing agreements without consent. This clause would require the Secretary of State to make arrangements to ensure that the personal data of migrant survivors of domestic abuse that is given or used for the purpose of their seeking or receiving support and assistance is not used for immigration control purposes.
How to contact your local MP
For further information about the Domestic Abuse Bill and our concerns, please see our briefing papers here and here. You can also read about why the £1.5m pilot project announced by the Government is a wholly unsatisfactory and discriminatory proposal here.
This work is supported by the Step Up Migrant Women coalition.