Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights: Mass lobby of parliament to demand protection

Hundreds of activists from Amnesty International and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s sector organisations will descend on Parliament today [4 Nov] to lobby their MPs for increased protection for all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights facing violence in the UK.

More than 200 activists will meet with their local MPs to urge them to persuade the government to provide permanent protection for all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who are victims of violence and living in the UK.

At present, due to government policy called the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule, some Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights – such as those on spousal or international student visas, or temporary work permits – are not able to gain access to specialist services or a refuge should they become victims of violence.

Last year Amnesty International and Southall Black Sisters published a report, outlining the severity of the violence faced by these most vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and demanding the government take action to exempt victims of violence from the no recourse rule. At the time, the Home Office promised a permanent solution to tackling this issue. So far this has not happened.

Amnesty International’s Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights Campaign Manager Heather Harvey said:

“Despite some government effort to tackle this problem, it is still falling short of its international obligations to protect all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights living in its jurisdiction. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights affected by the ‘no recourse’ rule are among the most vulnerable here in the UK because they literally have no alternative if they want to escape their place of violence.

“We know of several cases where frightened, abused and vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights turn up at a refuge and workers there have no choice but to close the door on them because they are unable to access the government funding which would guarantee her a place in a refuge.

“Of course refuge workers don’t want to turn away these Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights but they are already stretched to the limit of their funds and so cannot afford to take in Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights at an additional cost to themselves”.

“Clearly the situation for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights affected by violence is far from adequate. This is what we want to convey to our MPs today and we hope that the government will heed the messages coming from MPs and interested members of the general public.”

The mass lobby of Parliament takes place just days ahead of the Government’s expected announcement of an integrated strategy that would tackle all aspects of violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights across the country.

This strategy aims to ensure that no woman suffering violence falls through gaps in services. However campaigners are concerned that implementation may fall short in terms of adequate funding for services and particularly in ensuring all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights including those with no recourse are equally protected.

Heather Harvey continued:

“The Government’s decision to establish a strategy that will seek to comprehensively tackle all violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights across all sectors of society is a welcome move. However, they must ensure that it is properly funded and equally available to no recourse Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights to ensure that we have in place a system which is robust, effective and available for all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

“Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who turn up at refuges or rape crisis centres have already gone through a deeply traumatic and dreadful experience. The last thing they need at that stage is to be turned away because the centre is full to capacity or has run out of money.

“We need a robust and effective process for tackling violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights across the UK for all Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, whenever they may so require.”

For more information or a copy of Amnesty International and Southall Black Sisters’ report ‘No Recourse, No Safety’ contact Amnesty International UK Media Unit’s press office

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