Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has today spoken in favour of amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill to put “humanity at the heart” of the Bill. If passed, the amendments would ensure an abuse survivor’s immigration status does not affect the support they receive.
The Bill currently fails to make provisions to support “one of the most vulnerable groups” affected by domestic abuse: migrant women. This is a direct result of the Conservative Government’s Hostile Environment policies, which prevent immigrants accessing public funds and key support services.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson, Christine Jardine, who is on the Bill Committee, spoke in favour of amendments to:
- Change the rules to grant indefinite leave to remain to migrant survivors of domestic abuse.
- Allow migrants who are survivors of domestic abuse to access public funds, certain types of support and the right to rent.
- Protect the personal data of migrant survivors of domestic abuse by making sure their data is never passed to the Home Office for immigration control purposes.
Following today’s Committee Stage debate, the amendments will be reintroduced at the Report Stage of the Bill in the House of Commons.
Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson said: “No survivor of domestic abuse should be left behind by this bill to cope on their own regardless of gender, race, sexuality, age religion – or their immigration status.
“No survivor of domestic abuse should face the additional trauma of the threat of deportation, which stops many survivors seeking the help they so desperately need.
“Humanity should be at the heart of this and ensure we scrap the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule which leaves vulnerable survivors of domestic abuse with nowhere to turn.
“That would be a betrayal of one of the most vulnerable groups of domestic abuse survivors – migrant women.
“That is why it is so important that colleagues from all parties back these changes when this Bill returns to the Commons.”