Domestic Abuse: Immigrants

Home Office written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government’s draft Statutory Guidance in relation to the Domestic Abuse Bill published 1 July 2020, what steps her Department is taking to help migrant survivors of domestic abuse to regularise their status and provide support in the event that those survivors are not eligible to apply under the Domestic Violence Rule.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government’s position is clear that all victims of domestic abuse should be treated as victims first and foremost. The Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC) is available to those who have come to the UK on specified partner visas with the reasonable expectation of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The DDVC is not available to individuals who enter the UK on other visas, such as visit, student or work visas, or who are here illegally. This is because in order to obtain such visas they have confirmed they are financially independent, and therefore require no recourse to public funds, and their stay will be for a defined time. They do not have a legitimate expectation of securing ILR.

As we made clear in parliamentary debates on the Domestic Abuse Bill, this Government is committed to ensuring all victims have adequate support which meets their immediate needs. That is why we have allocated £1.5m towards the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) scheme, due to be launched later this year, to support migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not have access to public funds to access safe accommodation. This is in addition to over £1.5 million in Tampon Tax funding provided so far, since 2017 and up to 31 March 2021, to support organisations specialising in providing specialist support to migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC.

The pilot project will not only support more individuals to find safe accommodation but will help gather the data that is needed to develop sustainable solutions for all migrant victims of domestic abuse over the long-term.

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