feimineach.com

Headline: “Most women’s refuges rely on the payment of housing benefit to cover the rent of any room offered to a victim of domestic violence. For those fleeing abuse who are not entitled to live in the UK - or who have a condition to their visa meaning they have no recourse to public funds - there is often no safe place for them to turn.”

Very important piece by Natalie Bloomer on politics.co.uk:

When Sarah met her husband in London four years ago, she couldn’t have been happier. He was an old friend of her brother, knew of her difficult past and promised her a brighter future. He also assured her they would sort out her immigration status. She was an undocumented immigrant from Algeria, but he was a British citizen.

For a while they were happy, but then she became pregnant and everything changed. Her husband’s behaviour became angry and controlling. Several months into her pregnancy he threw a hoover at her. After the birth of their son, things got worse. She wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone other than her mother and sister. When she fell pregnant for a second time she was attacked again. This time she decided to leave, but was terrified her husband would find her and take her son away, as he had threatened to do many times.

Desperate to find somewhere to escape to, Sarah approached a number of refuges, but because of her immigration status she was turned away from every one.

This is not a lone case. Most women’s refuges rely on the payment of housing benefit to cover the rent of any room offered to a victim of domestic violence. For those fleeing abuse who are not entitled to live in the UK - or who have a condition to their visa meaning they have no recourse to public funds - there is often no safe place for them to turn.

Source and rest: No refuge: How benefit rules leave immigrant women at the mercy of their abusers

(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

No refuge: How benefit rules leave immigrant women at the mercy of their abusers