On 19 October 2020, the Home Office published the draft bid prospectus for the Support for Migrant Victims scheme (SMV) pilot. The prospectus is the outcome of a review that was carried out by the Home Office (the Migrant Victims of Domestic Abuse Review), which completely disregarded the copious evidence that we and others submitted on the needs of migrant women subject to abuse and No Recourse to Public Funds. See our joint response here.
We are alarmed by the content and design of the pilot project. In its current form, it will neither provide the support that migrant women desperately need, nor enable the collection of further evidence purportedly needed to inform any meaningful long-term strategy for their protection. The scheme is not only seriously flawed in its design, it is discriminatory and potentially dangerous in outcome since it will subject vulnerable and abused migrant women to highly punitive responses. The most alarming aspect is a requirement that the project provider refers women without documentation to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), without any guarantee that immigration enforcement won’t be taken against them. This will deter women from seeking support and instead entrap them in abusive relationships. You can read a summary of our concerns here and the detailed letter to the Home Office here.
Southall Black Sisters continues to campaign to ensure that there is #ProtectionForAll survivors in the Domestic Abuse Bill