Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
The Home Office has piloted the Support for Migrant Victims Scheme since 2020. It provides some support, accommodation and subsistence to people with no recourse to public funds who are fleeing violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
This scheme has been an important step forward for refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking victims of sexual violence and abuse, however there are significant gaps in provision. For example, there are limits on housing options due to the time restrictions of the scheme; we know victims are struggling to care for their families within the funding available and the support and signposting arrangements can be difficult to access.
All of these create unnecessary barriers to women seeking safety. We will seek to overcome these with our own Migrant Victim of Abuse Support Fund, which will be piloted for a year by BAWSO.
I intend to use the learning from this pilot, together with the evaluation of the Home Office’s Support for Migrant Victims Scheme to shape the design of longer-term support to meet the needs of migrant victims in Wales.
Our pilot is a significant step in delivering the recommendations of the Equality and Social Justice Committee’s report Gender Based Violence – migrant women, which highlighted the barriers, abuse and hardship experienced by many migrant women.
It also complements our existing support for people who have been affected by violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence and will ensure we have a “no victim left out” approach in place.
I would like to thank the Equality and Social Justice Committee for its work and the VAWDASV No Recourse to Public Funds Steering Group, whose invaluable insight and support has led to the establishment of this fund.
Wales will not be a bystander to abuse.