Maria said “I was pleased to speak at the launch of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report ‘Safety Before Status: The Solutions’.
Victims and survivors of domestic abuse with insecure immigration status currently do not have recourse to public funds (NRPF), meaning that too many are unable to access life-saving refuge and are forced to choose between staying with their abuser, or destitution and deportation.
This report ensures that the government has the information it needs help inform future decisions about support for migrant victims of domestic abuse.
It is of vital importance that victims of domestic abuse are able to access support where, and in the ways, they need it, so that it is safe, compassionate, and effective.”
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report has been produced with work from the London School off Economics and the Oxford Migration Observatory. For the first time, the number of migrant women who would be in need of support has been properly estimated – this is not data currently published by either the ONS or Home Office.
This means the report gives the Government the clearest view of the scale of the issue, allowing a proper costing of the solutions. The report establishes that for every £1 invested in supporting migrant survivors of domestic abuse, the economy will get back £4 – which is considered a very high benefit-cost ratio.
Maria welcome’s the report’s recommended scenario for change, which would provide flexible support for all via the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession and Domestic Violence Indefinite Leave to Remain application process. This enables all migrant victims, regardless of their status, to access protection and support through a model which is flexible and tailored to the length of support for which they require it.
Conservative Governments have made huge progress in supporting victims of domestic abuse. Some of these actions include:
- creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence, but can also be emotional, controlling or coercive, and economic abuse
- establishing in law the office of Domestic Abuse Commissioner and seting out the Commissioner’s functions and powers
- providing for a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order
- placing a duty on local authorities in England to provide accommodation-based support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation
- extending the controlling or coercive behaviour offence to cover post-separation abuse.
- creating a new offence of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation of another person.
- providing that all eligible homeless victims of domestic abuse automatically have ‘priority need’ for homelessness assistance
Find the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report here: https://domesticabusecommissioner.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Safety-before-status-The-Solutions.pdf