I came to the UK in 2015 from Brazil. I was convinced by my British ex-husband that I had a spousal visa, but he had refused to apply for one as soon as I arrived to the UK.
I became an overstayer.
I continued to undergo domestic violence from my then husband threatened me repeatedly with deportation. He hid my passport and documents from me.
I was so scared to go to the police. I was an undocumented migrant – who was I against a British citizen?
One day, in 2016 I took the courage to report the abuse to the Police. When I arrived to the police station and explained my situation I was told:
“You are not entitled to access any refuge, sort out your immigration issues first, we are not a hotel”
I was refused support on the because of my immigration status, I was not believed, I could not access public funds and was denied access to refuge
I became destitute and I lost custody of my daughter because of my immigration status. Right now, I am in the Home Office’s hands. I am stuck. I am not free. Motherhood doesn’t exist anymore. I am just waiting for an answer.
LAWRS has opened a legal case against the Police and I was supported to access safe accommodation. After more than a year, I do not have custody of my daughter because of my immigration status, & have not received any support from the police.
I spoke in Parliament on the 8th of March and campaigned around migrant women who are survivors. I feel empowered speaking to MPs around my experience and know I am not the only one.