Signposted to LAWC by Citizen’s Advice, Bimla was experiencing verbal, emotional, physical and psychological abuse from her husband. Living in the UK on a spouse visa, she had one child and was also pregnant. Financially dependent on her husband, she told us he repeatedly made threats to throw her out of their home and have their son removed from her.

Without any friends or family in the UK, Bimla was extremely isolated, suffered from low self-esteem and, due to her immigration status, felt she had no choice but to stay with her abusive husband. As with all our clients, LAWC first completed an initial assessment and a risk assessment with Bimla, following by creating a safety plan. She was given some advice about her housing and immigration options but, with no recourse to public funds and the local authority unable to help, her case proved complex.

Through 1-1 support with a domestic abuse caseworker at LAWC, Bimla built up her confidence, and following an incident with her husband, made a report to the police for the first time. Her husband was subsequently removed from their property and a protection order was put in place.

Working alongside Luton Law Centre, police and social care, we supported Bimla in applying for a biometric card and helped her to secure temporary leave to remain from the Home Office, meaning she was then able to apply for benefits.

Even after his removal from the family household, Bimla continued to face harassment from her husband regarding their child and pressure to resume the relationship. At LAWC, she was able to access legal advice regarding her parental rights and child contact.

Bimla required a lot of 1-1 emotional support to recover from her experiences but eventually she took the brave step of moving away from the area with her unborn baby and child. Her confidence and self-esteem had greatly increased by that time and, some months later, she got back in touch with us to say that she had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Bimla says:

“Thank you for not giving up on me [and] for making me know my rights as a woman. Thank you for letting me know I can be open without being betrayed and hurt.”