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14 January 2022

Home Office accepts several ‘Safety before Status’ recommendations

The Home Office has responded to recommendations aimed to improve the safety of domestic abuse victims, with specific reference to the safety of abused immigrants and migrants.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Home Office accepts several ‘Safety before Status’ recommendations

Image credit: Domestic Abuse Commissioner

What is the ‘Safety before Status’ report?

The ‘Safety before Status’ report, published by the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, concerns itself with a wide variety of issues surrounding domestic abuse. The report is updated every year and provides recommendations, aimed at improving people’s safety, to the UK Government. The recommendations are accessed by the government and are acted upon accordingly. 

What’s significant about the 2022 report?

Historically, the report has aimed to widen people’s awareness of domestic issues while, crucially, also improving the support available to victims/survivors of domestic abuse. 

This particular report has made significant progress in considering the experience of UK immigrants. In particular, the 2022 report has formally recognised the term ‘immigration abuse’: whereby an abuser uses their victim’s insecure immigration status as a way of exerting power and control, often using the threat of immigration action to prevent their victim from reporting their domestic abuse to the police. 

What recommendations does the 2022 report make?

In relation to the issue of Immigration Abuse, the report recommended that the Home Office introduce a working definition into all the abuse strategy and guidance provided by the government. This is a recommendation that the government is currently in talks with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner (DOC) over. 

Further, the report also recommended that an Immigration Abuse Toolkit, led by specialists in domestic violence, be commissioned with the aim of providing training and guidance around the issue of Immigration Abuse. This recommendation was partially accepted by the Home Office, which accepted that the creation of specialist organisations would help to better understand critical issues like Immigration Abuse. 

The Home Office also fully accepted a recommendation to develop a long-term solution to ensure that support and protection is extended to all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of their immigration status. 

Other recommendations were primarily concerned with the abuse of migrants, and were informed by a Support for Migrant Victims (SMV) Pilot, which is yet to come to an end. Recommendations surrounding the issue included the proposal to implement robust evidence gathering procedures to establish the costs of supporting migrant victims, which was accepted by the government. 

The SMV pilot aims to provide further evidence on which to base the creation of future policy. The implementation of any policy informed by the SMV pilot will be subject to a clear implementation timetable as per the recommendations of the ‘Safety Before Status’ report. 

Looking for more information?

Click Here for the full list of recommendations and their corresponding responses.

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