Cases of domestic violence have tragically increased this year. The situation was aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a severe and long lockdown worldwide.
Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, has reported terrifying data. Indeed, there was a 66% increase in requests for help on the National Domestic Abuse Helpline and a peak of 950% of visits on the association’s website.
The approval of the Domestic Abuse Bill, a law that provides for harsh penalties for offenders and protection for victims, is currently being assessed in Britain. Meanwhile, a host of actresses and actors including Judi Dench and Keira Knightley are joining a petition calling for stricter laws and greater protection for migrant women who are victims of domestic abuse.
In detail, the awareness campaign with Amnesty International asks for a guarantee that women who are subjected to violence are in all respects considered victims without going through the immigration department (and therefore through terrible sanctions that include imprisonment or deportation). Furthermore, it requires these women to benefit from the protection afforded to victims without considering their status. At the moment, in fact, there are some women who do not benefit from welfare benefits or are not yet assigned to social housing precisely because of the lack of regularization of their migratory status.
The petition also includes the firms of Paloma Faith, Adwoa Aboah, Olivia Colman, Thandie Newton e Gillian Anderson. The signed petition will then be presented to Priti Patel, the government’s home secretary.
The situation is different in Wales, where migrant women were placed in social housing during the pandemic. It is precisely in this scenario that the Step Up Migrant Women movement becomes crucial.
Cover credits: The New York Times