SBS no recourse fund

In an emergency, dial 999

Call us for help on 020 8571 0800 or email [email protected] 

At least 60% of the women who seek support from Southall Black Sisters have insecure immigration status. Most are subject to the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) rule, which is a central plank of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy.

Those subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) rule because of their insecure immigration status cannot access any form of emergency accommodation, including refuges, as they are not able to claim housing benefit, income support and other state benefits. They’re also prohibited from accessing any form of social housing through the local authority. The result is that victims of abuse with NRPF are faced with stark choices: leave and face destitution, or stay and risk their lives.

We struggle on a daily basis to support abused migrant women with NRPF because they are cut off from normal routes to safety. These women are forced to rely on charity and hand-outs from strangers and, in the process, subject themselves to other forms of degradation, exploitation and harm.

SBS has been campaigning for many years to enable all women with NRPF to have access to public funds. This includes:

  • Extension of eligibility under the Domestic Violence Rule (DV Rule) and the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC) to protect all abused women with insecure immigration status;
  • Extension of the time frame for the DDVC from three to six months;
  • The introduction of a comprehensive strategy on violence against migrant women.

Until we achieve our campaign aims, we have set up the last resort SBS No Recourse Fund (NRF) to provide a vital safety net for those not entitled to public funds. Our emergency NRF is made up of grants and donations given to us to support migrant women across the UK with accessing crisis accommodation and support. Current grant funders include London Councils, MOPAC and the Home Office (under the Support for Migrant Victims pilot scheme).

The aim of the NRF is to enable victims to access a refuge or safe accommodation in order to escape gender-based abuse including domestic and sexual violence, prostitution and trafficking and harmful practices such as forced marriage and so called ‘honour’ based violence.

Before downloading an application pack, read our answers to frequently asked questions about the No Recourse Fund.


Women’s Aid Website

The Survivor’s Handbook: Print and Audio Versions
Making arrangements for children after separation: the role of the family courts.

Rights of Women

Rights of Women have fact sheets on residence, contact and parental responsibility that can be downloaded for free from their website.
Women lawyers provide advice on 020 7251 6577 (telephone) or 020 7490 2562 (textphone) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Fridays, 12 noon – 2:00 pm.


Reunite runs a 24-hour emergency service for international child abduction cases.

Their advice line on 0116 2556 234 is open Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm or for information see their website.

The Reunite Child Abduction Prevention Guide provides clear and concise information and practical steps to take if you fear your child is in danger of abduction.

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