The Daily Mirror reports of SBS clients on a Spouse visa facing violence, abuse and slavery
Hannana Siddiqui, one of the mainstays of Southall Black Sisters along with Poonam Patti, the Advocacy Manager told Ros Wynne-Jones from the Daily Mirror about the hard won 20-year campaign for a Destitution Domestic Violence Concession – the DDVC – and what that meant for clients with no recourse to public funds facing hardship, homelessness and imminent destitution. Since the fund was setup, SBS have assisted hundreds of women placing them in secure accommodation, advising agencies on how to assist with casework and managing the fund. In return, the DDVC fund has saved countless lives.
Benefits of the Domestic Violence Concession
The DDVC allows abused women who enter the UK on spousal visas three months breathing space to address problems with immigration status, during which time they now have access to basic welfare benefits. Hannana told the reporter that “we could hardly believe it when it happened.” The campaign took 20 years for the Government to recognise hardships and in some cases death that many women faced when leaving a violent husband and families. This is further compounded when women have no significant sign posts of where they can go for help. The extensive publicity of the DDVC has meant that agencies ranging from GPs to the Police refer women seeking help.