Support for a victim from the South Asian Community

PDVS received a call on the helpline from Nasreen who required support for the domestic violence she was experiencing.

I married my husband abroad and then came to UK on a spousal visa. On arrival, I learnt from my husband that the only reason he had married me was to provide intensive care for his severe mentally ill mother. I was horrified. I felt betrayed and cheated that my marriage had been based on lies and nothing else. I was then, for the next five years treated like a slave under a brutal regime by my husband and subjected to psychological, physical, emotional, and financial abuse. I was forced to cook, clean and take care of my husband and his ill mother who required 24-hour care.

When I complained a few times that I was too tired or not well enough to care for his mother, I was accused of lying. My husband started shouting at me, grabbed hold of my neck and pulled my hair. He kicked me in the back and pushed me against the wall. I had blood pouring out of my nose.

I was never allowed to go to the GP or anywhere alone. Nor was I allowed to have any access to a phone. I was often left at home with the doors locked so I could not leave.

Eventually the neighbours had suspected that something was wrong and reported it to the police.

However, when the police came, I was so scared that I was forced to remain quiet. I had always received threats from my husband and his family that they would kill and bury me if I disclosed anything to the police. After the police made several visits to the house, I eventually managed to finally escape from the prison of abuse.

My nightmare did not end here. Due to my immigration status I was unable to access any public funds therefore had no access to safe accommodation to protect me from the perpetrators. Fortunately, I was able to stay with close relatives but soon after, my relatives started to receive threats and life became unbearable with the fear of my husband and his family tracking me down. It was then I became desperate and turned to PDVS for help.

Luckily I had already received legal support with the help of my relatives to make an application to the Home Office whereby I was granted a temporary visa. This visa gave me the rights to access public funds and safe accommodation.

Unfortunately, even with this legal document from the Home Office, there was yet another barrier facing me to give me the protection I needed.

PDVS made many attempts to contact various refuges to accommodate me, there were many rejections due to me not having indefinite leave to remain in the UK. However, despite the disappointing response PDVS continued to pursue the refuge search and finally found a refuge who were willing to speak to me.

PDVS highlighted the concerns of my safety and my rights to access to safety and accommodation provided by the Home Office.

Finally, the refuge accepted me with a safe accommodation and offered the support I desperately needed to start my new life.

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