Press Release

16 April 2021

Refuge statement on migrant women amendment in the Domestic Abuse Bill

Refuge statement on migrant women amendment in the Domestic Abuse Bill

Cordelia Tucker O’Sullivan, Refuge senior policy and public affairs manager said:

‘Last night the Domestic Abuse Bill, many years in the making, took another crucial step towards becoming law.  Refuge is delighted that the government listened to Refuge and survivors, and that the Bill will make threats to share intimate images a crime, and we look forward to the Bill becoming law later this year.

However, the rejection of the amendment to protect migrant women experiencing domestic abuse is a huge disappointment. Frontline organisations, such as Refuge, Southall Black Sisters, and Latin American Women’s Rights Service who work with migrant women every day know just how important it is to ensure they too, are protected, regardless of whether they have the ‘right’ type of visa. Refuge stands in solidarity with the Step Up Migrant Women coalition and wholeheartedly support repeated calls for the protection of migrant women, who are so often locked out of accessing the specialist support they need. This was a real opportunity for the government to ensure that all women, regardless of where they happen to have been born, have access to the life-saving protection they need and deserve. Insecure immigration status should never be a barrier to accessing support and Refuge will continue to fight for all women to have access to the protection they need. The falling of this amendment sends a very worrying message to migrant women, and Refuge hopes the government will think again and ensure a solution which supports women with ‘no recourse to public funds’ or with insecure immigration status is swiftly forthcoming. Women’s lives depend on it’.


Notes to Editors

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About Refuge:

Refuge supports more than 7,000 women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For real time automated guidance on how to secure your personal devices Refuge also has a Tech Safety Tool.