Violence Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights: Proposal to help victims of violence is a 'welcome step' but permanent plan is needed | Amnesty International UK

Violence Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights: Proposal to help victims of violence is a 'welcome step' but permanent plan is needed

Amnesty International today (11 Nov) cautiously welcomed the Home Office‘s three-month pilot scheme to grant Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights facing violence and who have insecure immigration status the ability to access a refuge and seek specialised support.

Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who hold spousal or international student visas, or who are in the UK on temporary work permits are currently unable to access a refuge or specialised support because of the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule.

The pilot proposal outlined by the Home Office Minister Alan Campbell MP now provides the security of funding a woman’s refuge place for up to 40 days and enabling her to access the support required by survivors of domestic or other violence.

The announcement comes on the heels of an Amnesty International mass lobby of Parliament when last Wednesday (4 Nov) more than 250 activists lobbied their MP to demand an exemption of the no recourse to public funds rule for these vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

The government initiative will run for three months, and will be followed by an evaluation which will be conducted in March 2010.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“This announcement is certainly a welcome step in the right direction, albeit a long time coming, which would enable hundreds of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to escape an abusive situation and access a refuge. However this is only a short term pilot scheme.

“The Minister Alan Campbell stated that this pilot trial will serve to inform the government towards developing a longer-term solution to this issue. We will hold the government to this and expect to see detailed plans in March which will outline how this project will be permanently implemented.”

Amnesty International has interviewed dozens of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have been affected by the no recourse to public funds rule and gathered testimonies from dozens of refuge workers, police and medical professionals who have previously been obliged to turn Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights away and leave them with no other option but to return to the place of violence.

One caseworker interviewed by Amnesty told of a woman who was physically and sexually abused by her husband and family – at one point she was doused in petrol and threatened to be set alight. She was returned to her home after fleeing to her GP for help because she was on a spousal visa and had no access to a refuge.

“Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have no recourse to public funds have been until now trapped in a cycle of violence. Only once the Government provides a permanent solution to providing assistance and support for these very vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights will they have fulfilled their human rights’ commitments to provide safety and justice for all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights fleeing violence living in their jurisdiction.

“After all, this is what the Government agreed when it signed the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.”

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