All domestic abuse survivors deserve equal protection under the law
UK legislation to protect all
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Demanding protection from domestic abuse
The next Home Secretary must step up protections for migrant survivors of domestic abuse like me.
Sign the petition
I am a survivor of domestic abuse and I’m also a migrant woman. This is my story.
After two years of marriage and thousands of pounds spent on immigration fees, I arrived in the UK on a spousal visa. I was looking forward to building a life here with my British husband. While adjusting to life in a new country proved difficult at times, I quickly found a rewarding job and good friends. It felt like the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
Then the emotional and psychological abuse began
Unfortunately, my partner had other plans. Soon after arriving in the UK, the emotional and psychological abuse began. Over time, he became increasingly critical, often putting me down in front of others. Then the abuse escalated. When he was angry, he was often physically violent, and I could never predict what would set him off next.
Although I was the primary breadwinner, he prevented me from opening my own bank account and spent my earnings behind my back.
When he began threatening to cancel my visa and kick me out of our home, I knew that I had to get out.
Refused help due to my immigration status
As a migrant survivor, I knew that leaving was almost impossible. With no recourse to public funds or services, I wasn’t able to access refuge or housing support. I was afraid that my ex-partner would revoke my right to stay in the UK at any moment. The prospect of detention and deportation was constantly hanging over my head.
As a migrant, even the police didn’t take my concerns seriously, and I was forced to flee my abuser without state assistance, putting my personal safety at risk.
Every woman has the right to live free from abuse
As it currently stands, more than two women lose their lives each week in England and Wales as a result of domestic abuse – at this point, I can only hope that I won’t be one of them. It’s time for the Government to do better and protect us all - regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, or immigration status.
Existing UK laws fail to protect migrant women, and prevent us from accessing vital support. As a result, many migrant survivors are forced to stay with their abusive partners.
You can help today by asking the next Home Secretary to step up life-saving protections for migrant women like me suffering from domestic abuse.
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