We are still failing non-British victims of domestic violence


At last, the government will partially honour its pledge to support all women facing domestic violence. Until now, non-British women escaping violence had no right to access refuges or benefits if they were on spousal visas – and so were faced with destitution if they chose to leave their husbands, or were thrown out by them. But the destitute domestic violence (DDV) concession now allows women to apply for three months’ leave, giving them access to benefits while they apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

It has taken 20 years of hard campaigning and dogged pursuit by Southall Black Sisters (SBS), and since 2007 a coalition of 27 women and human rights groups including Amnesty International, Women’s Aid, Eaves Housing and Women’s Resource Centre, to bring about a significant change to a small area of immigration law.

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