Tackling domestic abuse and ensuring victims receive the support they need, is a priority for this Government. Furthermore, anyone who has suffered domestic abuse must be treated as a victim first and foremost, regardless of immigration status.
In April 2021, the Home Office launched the £1.5 million Support for Migrant Victims Scheme for migrant victims of domestic abuse who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF). The pilot, being run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners for a duration of 12 months, provides wraparound support for migrant victims of domestic abuse, including subsistence, accommodation and counselling.
We have appointed an independent evaluator, Behavioural Insights Ltd, to assess the Scheme, with a view to producing a final report later this year. The Scheme and independent evaluation will help to build the evidence-base needed to better understand the diverse needs of the migrant population, which in turn should inform any future change in policy decisions.
In the interim, as announced in our recently published Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan, 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.
The Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan will seek to transform the whole of society’s response in order to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems processes in place needed to deliver these goals. The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) National Statement of Expectations, and Commissioning Toolkit, which we have published alongside the Plan, will also provide support to commissioners to help them increase provision of ‘by and for’ and specialist services.