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Domestic Violence: Victim Support Schemes

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of women who are experiencing domestic abuse who are not in receipt of assistance funded by the public purse. (196723)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: There are approximately 500 women per year who identify themselves as victims of domestic violence, who have been granted leave to enter the UK in order to marry a UK national, and whose leave to remain is subject to a condition that there shall be no recourse to public funds, in order to prevent abuse of the marriage concession.

Recognising that their lack of access to public services may put them at risk of further abuse, the Government are developing a new scheme whereby victims of domestic violence who have no recourse to public funds who successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) will be able to have their housing and living costs met. The new scheme will be announced later in the spring.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support she plans to make available to women subject to domestic abuse who are not entitled to existing provision on grounds of citizenship; and if she will make a statement. (197385)

The Government are aware of the problems faced by women with insecure immigration status who suffer domestic violence. We will shortly be announcing details of a new scheme where victims of domestic violence with no recourse to public funds will be eligible to receive support for their housing and living costs. Under the new scheme victims of domestic violence whose applications for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) are successful may qualify for a contribution towards these costs.

The Home Office is also working with the Border and Immigration Agency to re-examine the fee regulations for domestic violence ILR applications, to ensure that genuine claims are not hampered by prohibitive costs.