This campaign brings together key women's organisations to highlight the devastating impact of 'no recourse to public funds' on the lives of minority women without secure immigration status and who are subject to domestic violence in the context of the marriage, employment and trafficking.
We call on the government to end the double standards in its approach to domestic violence, allowing some women the right to seek protection but not others. Alternative sources of long term funding must be found. Southall Black Sisters has proposed that costs are retrieved from perpetrators as a means of holding them accountable.
We call on the government to:
- Abolish the 'no recourse' requirement for abused women who have insecure status
- Provide a special fund pending long term solutions, financed out of the Victim Fund and other sources to enable all women to have living expenses and have access refuges and local authority accommodation pending a final decision on applications to remain in the UK
- Fast track applications to remain in the UK (process within 2 months) where there is prima facie evidence of domestic violence
- Reform the Domestic Violence Rule so that all types of evidence of domestic violence is accepted
- Extend the domestic violence rule to all abused women with an insecure immigration status and introduce similar protection for trafficked women subjected to sexual and economic abuse and to overseas domestic workers experiencing violence from employers
- Provide adequate levels of legal aid so that there is access to good quality legal advice and assistance.
What you can do to help
- Publicise the issue in any groups to which you belong - women's groups, political groups, and religious organsiations. Pass a resolution (model resolution is available), hold a public meeting.
- Tell your Member of Parliament (House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA) your views on the no recourse requirement and ask for his/her support for the campaign.
- Ask your MP to meet with the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions to find ways of providing benefits to those with no recourse to public funds.
- Support this campaign by affiliating to it, and keep us informed of developments.
- Send a donation to the campaign.
AFFILIATE TO THE CAMPAIGN
For further information and to return your affiliate and/or make a donation form contact:
Southall Black Sisters
21 Avenue Road, Southall, Middlesex
020 8571 9595