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No Recourse to Public Funds

Fleeing domestic abuse – yet migrant women with insecure immigration status may have no refuge.
l-r Careen Joseph, Sriya Kulupana, Becky Barlow

At the Region’s winter meeting South Lancashire’s Soroptimists learned of a young charity tackling this situation.

Sriya Kulupana (Programme Action Officer) introduced Becky Barlow and Careen Joseph of ‘Beauty for Ashes Refuges‘. This organisation, based in Manchester, is reaching out to the women and their children.

The majority of the women needing support have a spousal visa as they are married to UK citizens. The husbands sponsor them – but where there is domestic abuse the women are not entitled to access a safe house. They are exempt from the protection of the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act.

The charity is fundraising to provide a refuge in the Manchester area. It is due to open in early 2023.

There are plans for a ’boutique’ model, enabling the women to craft items and sell them. Business skills and sessions on healthy relationships will also go towards enabling the women to re-build their self-esteem. ‘Beauty for Ashes Refuges’ aims stand up for the women’s rights and empower them to turn their life around.