SafeLives calls for Government to allocate adequate funding to support migrant survivors of domestic abuse with insecure immigration status

The Home Office has published its response to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s report, Safety Before Status. This report, published last October, found that victims and survivors of domestic abuse with insecure immigration status are shut out of vital routes to safety and security. Those with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) status are forced to choose between remaining with their perpetrator, homelessness, or the risk of being treated as an immigration offender.

In its response, the Home Office has committed to developing a long-term solution, following the Support for Migrant Victims Pilot, to extend support to all victims of domestic abuse. Whilst this is a welcome commitment, it is essential that the Government provides the new funding required as soon as possible to meet the accommodation and subsistence needs of domestic abuse victims with NRPF, and guarantee their safety.

It is also crucial that the Government prioritises funding for specialist ‘by and for’ domestic abuse services to ensure victims and survivors with insecure immigration status receive the tailored support they need.

Finally, the Government must provide additional funding to enable access to specialist legal advice and representation to help such migrant victims and survivors of domestic abuse regularise their immigration status.

We remain seriously disappointed at the Home Office’s decision to reject the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s recommendation of a Firewall between the police and immigration enforcement to allow victims and survivors to safely report without fear of deportation.

At a minimum, we hope Departmental funding is made available to overcome the additional barriers migrant victims and survivors face, and can ensure all victims and survivors of domestic abuse have access to the support and protection they need, regardless of their immigration status.