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The Government has responded to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s concerns about the planned Domestic Abuse Bill, who have warned that the Bill fails to create adequate protection for migrant women.

The UK Government has missed an opportunity to strengthen plans for a domestic abuse law that ensures equal protection for migrant women, the Step Up Migrant Women (SUMW) coalition has warned.

SUMW – a coalition of more than 30 organisations, including the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS), Liberty, Amnesty International UK, Sisters For Change and End Violence Against Women Coalition – has issued the call in reaction to the UK Government’s response to the Home Affairs Select Committee report on the upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill.

The Government’s response does not properly address the recommendations from the Home Affairs Select Committee to ensure the Bill provides protection for migrant women across the UK.

SUMW continues to argue that as it stands the Bill will not ensure the UK meets the requirements of the Istanbul Convention – the Government’s intention for the Bill – which aims to prevent and combat all forms of violence against women.

SUMW is particularly concerned that:

The Government has not responded to recommendations to ensure migrant women victims of domestic abuse have access to the support and assistance they need regardless of their immigration status.This means thousands of women will remain blocked from accessing potentially life-saving services and puts them at risk of facing detention and deportation.

The Government has not responded to serious concerns about the decrease in specialist services for BAME victims of abuse. The Government has set out £300,000 of funding but this will go little way to support a sector that is hugely underfunded.

The Government has failed to engage with recommendations regarding the abhorrent practice of police sharing victims’ data with the Home Office for the purposes of immigration enforcement. Read more

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