The Bishop of Gloucester received the following written answer on 9th January 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester asked His Majesty’s Government:
- what support is available for those on a student or visitor visa who become subject to domestic abuse whilst residing in England.
- what plans they have, if any, (1) to extend the destitution domestic violence concession (DDVC) to six months, and (2) to widen the eligibility to all migrant survivors of domestic abuse.
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con): Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for this Government. Information on support for victims can be found on the Domestic abuse: how to get help(opens in a new tab) page on GOV.UK, or through Government’s ‘Enough’ campaign.
Those on a student or visitor visa who become subject to domestic abuse whilst residing in England, can also seek support from the Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) scheme. The SMV scheme was launched as a 12-month pilot in March 2021, run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners, and supported with £1.5 million of Government funding. It provides support and wraparound services to migrant victims of domestic abuse. This support includes: accommodation, subsistence, legal advice and counselling.
Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support to migrant victims if a genuine care need is established that does not arise solely from destitution. Examples can include, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.
Evidence from the independent evaluation of the SMV pilot, to be produced in a final report in early 2023, will inform future policy decisions surrounding our support for migrant victims of domestic abuse. Whilst we consider the evaluation findings and the lessons learned for future policy decisions, we will provide £1.4 million in 2022-23 to continue to fund support for all migrant victims of domestic abuse.