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Farron calls for constituents to help defend women's rights

March 20, 2008 10:57 AM

Local MP Tim Farron today signed a parliamentary motion, EDM 693. The motion, entitled black, minority ethnic and refugee women and domestic violence, draws attention to the plight of immigrants who come to marry in this country, but are later subject to domestic violence, as well as women trafficked into the country. These women often have no access to support, benefits or protection, effectively trapping women in either destitution or violence.

After signing the motion, Tim Farron MP said:

"I have recently looked into issues surrounding this case, and have been shocked by what I have found. The immigration system in this country follows the rules to the letter to avoid a bad story in the press, rather than taking measures to avoid a human cost. These women face rape, neglect, genital mutilation and financial exploitation. The campaign group 'Southall Black Sisters' estimated in 2006 that there are 600 women in the UK with insecure immigration status facing violence each year. Without recourse to public funds, these women are pushed from pillar to post, and can end up being pushed into hotels and onto the charity of others, or worse, detained by the Home Office without the support women who have been abused need."

"Please help politicians realise the threat these women face, and write to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, asking her to look into this issue personally, and to ensure that the Government takes a new priority when looking into the immigration claims of women - the human priority. The Government must make safe housing, benefits and specialist services for these women a priority, and implement an integrated, strategic approach to combat all forms of violence against women."