How to Prove Domestic Violence

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice. 30 April 2019

Domestic violence affects both men and women. Migrants are particularly vulnerable and unwilling to seek help because of their precarious status in the UK.

One can apply for permission to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence and before submitting an application one should look at Appendix FM, the section of the Immigration Rules that deals with family immigration.  The Home Office allows a person who has come to the UK as a spouse, i.e. under Appendix FM to remain in the UK indefinitely if their relationship broke down because of domestic violence.

Legal Aid is available for these applications for those who are eligible financially. The Home Office guidance makes it clear that domestic violence and abuse goes beyond physical or sexual violence. Physical violence is not required to meet the definition, controlling behaviour or threats of violence also counts towards this. It is important to note that the behaviour need not come from the victim’s partner.

Only those who come to the UK and have leave to remain as a spouse or a leave to remain as a partner of a British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain can apply for permission to stay as a victim of domestic violence.  Those with other types of leave are unable to enjoy this provision and may need advice as to other protection they might have such as humanitarian protection. It is important to note that different rules also apply to family members of EA nationals. The correct form for an application is SET(DV).

Below you will find a table of evidence and factors that the Home Office will take into account in deciding an application for victims of domestic violence.

The application under the domestic violence route is not an automatic human rights application and there is not an automatic right of appeal in the event that the application is refused. Therefore, it is very important that in every application one makes they should include human rights arguments alongside the domestic violence information. Therefore, If the application is refused one will have a right of appeal in country.

There are organisations that will be able to help victims of domestic violence free of charge and there is a National Domestic Violence helpline, a link to which is enclosed below.