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Better support for victims of domestic violence

Spouses and partners of UK residents who are forced to flee their relationships as a result of domestic violence will be able to access vital support services, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.


At present some spouses are forced to stay in abusive relationships because they are in the country on a spousal visa and have 'no recourse to public funds' meaning they are unable to access support services during the two year probationary period.


Following a successful pilot project the plans announced mean that these victims will be able to access services to ensure they are not forced to remain in violent relationships. Access will be for a strictly limited period while the victim gathers evidence and makes a claim for residence based on the domestic violence and UK Border Agency considers the application.


Between December 2009 and January 2011, 587 women and 358 children have been supported through the pilot - known as the Sojourner Project -  which has been underway since November 2009. The permanent plan will come into effect next year.

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