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SVAW Success #3
On 4th November last year 200 Amnesty activists lobbied their MPs in support of an exemption to the ‘No Recourse To Public Funds’ rule in the case of domestic violence. Seventy-five MPs were lobbied and their was an overwhelmingly positive response. Since the lobby the government has announced a pilot which offers women 20 days of upfront funding to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain under the Domestic Violence Rule, she may then have another 20 days funding for the government to make a decision on her status. This pilot which runs till the end of February is imperfect but a welcome step. To find out more see www.amnesty.org.uk/norecourse
The Guardian online did a short film of the No Recourse lobby and spoke to one of the women affected by it. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2009/nov/06/domestic-violence-amnesty-no-recourse-to-public-funds
I attended the Amnesty International UK ‘No Recourse’ lobby earlier. The aim is to persuade MPs to ensure there is funding for shelter and support available for all women who have experienced violence including those whose immigration status is insecure. I lobbied John Spellar MP who is my local MP. He understood the issues but was quite non-commital and on balanced minded not to support our campaign. However, he did give me the courtesy of engaging in debate on the issues concerned, but ultimately felt the potential to attract further illegal immigration meant that he couldn’t fully support our campaign. However, he did feel it right to do something in genuine cases of domestic violence. Overall 60+ MPs were engaged by hundred of AI activists with the exercise a really positive experience. All parties have already made supportive gestures and we are optimistic they will ultimately back this campaign. For further information see www.amnesty.org.uk/norecourse
On Saturday 31 October between 10:00 and 15:00 the Mid-Warwickshire Amnesty International group will be holding a women’s issue campaign on in Leamington Spa outside the Library/Pump Rooms. The two major issues being addressed will be: i) ‘No Recourse to Justice’: Battered but barred from help – the women UK law traps in a cycle of violence and, ii) Women in conflicts. For more information see http://midwarwickshire.amnesty.org.uk/
On Wednesday 4 November Amnesty International UK are organising a mass lobby of parliament to bring hundreds of activists together to urge the UK government to ensure equal protection for all women facing violence in the UK.
Women with insecure immigration status fleeing violence cannot access the benefits they need to get protection and support. Due to these women’s extreme vulnerability, immediate action is needed; the UK is in breach of its international human rights obligations while this situation persists.
I would encourage local human rights activists to join the lobby on Wednesday 4th November in London. I’m going to lobby John Spellar MP so please let me know if you’ll be there so we can meet up. Please note there are coaches but the nearest one to here departs Leicester at 7.20am. For further details on the lobby please email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website www.amnesty.org.uk/norecourse