To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to ensure that migrant women who are victims of domestic abuse can be granted residence in the UK which is not dependent on the spouse or partner who is the perpetrator of that abuse.
15 June 2022
Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for this Government and we are committed to supporting all victims of domestic abuse. Anyone who has suffered domestic abuse must be treated as a victim first and foremost, regardless of immigration status.
On 30 March, we published the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan which will seek to transform the whole of society’s response to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems in place to deliver these goals.
Support is provided to migrant victims of domestic abuse through our Destitute Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC) which enables those victims, who entered the UK on certain partner or spousal visas, three months access to public funds, which can be used to fund safe accommodation.
Migrant victims can also apply for settlement through the Domestic Violence Indefinite Leave to Remain Rules (DVILR). The intention is to safeguard eligible victims by offering them leave independent of the abusive partner.
Following the Government’s review of support for migrant victims in 2020, last year we launched the Support for Migrant Victims Scheme to provide a support net for victims who are not eligible to apply under the DDVC.
The 12-month pilot, run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners, and supported with £1.5 million of Government funding, has provided wraparound support services for migrant victims of domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds. Support includes: accommodation, subsistence, and counselling.
The pilot and independent evaluation aims to ensure that we have a robust evidence base to inform future policy decisions. The evaluation will be producing a final report in Summer 2022.
In the interim, we will provide £1.4 million in 2022-23 to continue to fund support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, whilst we take on board vital lessons learned from the pilot to inform future policy decisions.