mreen contacted The Haven’s Helpline services through a friend. Amreen is originally from Pakistan and had only been in UK for about 4 months. She arrived on a two-year spousal visa which clearly states no recourse to public funds. Her first language was Punjabi.
Amreen needed urgent accommodation due to abuse from her husband. She had fled from his property where they lived with her in-laws taking with her just her passport. She feared for her life but had nowhere to stay. Amreen’s friend who contacted us was known to her husband’s family, so it wasn’t safe for her to stay with them.
Amreen disclosed that she was subjected to verbal and physical abuse from her husband and in-laws. Her husband was also sexually abusive and raped her on numerous occasions.
The Haven worked closely with Amreen and her application for destitution domestic violence concession was accepted. She received weekly welfare payments from The Haven, and we supported her with her application for benefits. Her benefits were then instated, and we were also able to support her application for Leave to Remain, housing, a bank account and claim for Universal Credit.
Amreen’s application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was successful, meaning she can stay in the UK permanently. Our support staff helped her with opening a new bank account, as well registering with a local GP. She disclosed that she was feeling low and was offered counselling. She completed all her counselling sessions and was encouraged to attend ESOL classes to improve her English so she could communicate better with her peers and staff.
Ultimately, Amreen was supported by staff to find refuge accommodation outside of Wolverhampton. She was happy to move out and stated that this could be a new beginning for her.
Amreen gained a lot of self-esteem and confidence whilst in refuge and felt that it was the first time that she was actually in control of her life and could make her own decisions. She was excited about being able to live an independent life and thrive within a new community.
Amreen’s name has been changed to protect her identity. Images are for illustration purposes only.