Domestic violence or Domestic Abuse is an unfortunate reality not just in the UK but across the world. The UK has The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 in place that deals with providing criminal justice and legal protection to victims of domestic violence in particular.
Domestic violence is also called domestic abuse. Domestic violence can happen against anyone irrespective of their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, socio-economic background, sexuality, or background.
Domestic violence as per Domestic Abuse Bill 2020
Domestic abuse bill 2020 aims to raise awareness among the people about how domestic abuse can impact victims and their families. It defines domestic abuse as –
"Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime perpetrated on victims and their families by those who should love and care for them."
Domestic abuse is about physical violence but not limited to it. Domestic violence can be emotional, psychological, coercive control and 'gaslighting', economic, threats, online and sexual abuse as well.
Signs you can recognize as domestic violence
Whether you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, it is important to recognize the signs of it. This helps you seek help and get out of it immediately. Following are the signs you can look out for as signs of domestic abuse:
- If you feel like that you are being withdrawn or isolated from your loved ones such as family and friends;
- If there is a bruise, burns or bites being inflicted upon you;
- You are not allowed to go to college or work or simply outside the house;
- Your finances are being taken under control or you are not being given any means to buy anything you need such as food or paying bills;
- Your use of the Internet and social media is being checked or your texts, emails or letters are being read;
- You are being made feel inferior repeatedly
- You are being pressured to do sex; and
- You are being made feel that the abuse is your fault, or you are overreacting
Reporting domestic violence
Domestic violence is a crime and if you or someone you know is a victim of it, you should report it to the authorities. You can report it to the police or other organizations such as Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline, Galop, Live Fear Free helpline, etc.
Domestic violence and its application on immigrant victims
Victims can be immigrants living in the UK as well. The immigration rule of the UK permits such victims to apply to seek permission to stay in the UK as victims of domestic abuse irrespective of the fact that their visa is still valid, or it has expired.
Eligibility for the victim immigrants to apply for ILR
Immigrants can apply for leave to remain if they meet some eligibility conditions. These eligibility conditions are the following:
- If you were granted leave to enter or remain previously as the spouse, civil/unmarried/same-sex partner of somebody who is either a British Citizen or has settled status in the UK or someone who is a member of HM forces and served for a minimum of 4 years.
- You need to be in the UK to make an application.
- You need to make a valid application to apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain as a victim of domestic violence
- You also need to produce proof that you notified any abuse against you in the past to the relevant authorities.
Who cannot apply for ILR as victims of domestic abuse
Those who fall in the following category cannot apply for ILR as victims of domestic violence.
- If you are under the age of 18 because this is the age bar to be a partner or spouse.
- If you are a spouse or a partner of someone who has limited leave to enter or remain in the UK.
- If you are a fiancé or proposed civil partner.
- If you are in the UK not on ILR but any other type of leave.
- If you are an EEA national with treaty rights or you are a family member of such an individual.
Domestic violence concession
If you are a victim you can access public funds, which will help you, escape and protect yourself from the ongoing abuse under the domestic violence concession scheme. However, not everyone can access public funds under this scheme. Following are the conditions in which you can apply to access public funds as a victim of domestic violence.
- If you have had limited leave to remain as a partner;
- Your relationship broke because of domestic abuse;
- You are in need to access public funds that will enable you to get out of the relationship; and
- You intend to apply for leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence
Making an ILR application
You can apply online. You need to be present in the UK to make an application. You need to select and use the SET (DV) application form to apply.
The application for an immigrant who is a victim of domestic abuse can qualify for an application fee waiver.
Should you wish to seek professional assistance for your UK visa application process please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on +44(0)2034111261