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Safe exit

Rosa's story

Rosa called our advice line because she was experiencing violence in her relationship with her boyfriend, a British citizen. She had originally come to the UK as a student 5 years ago, but had begun a relationship with someone on her course.

Her boyfriend had become controlling and verbally abusive and his behaviour had meant that she felt unable to continue studying. When she stopped attending her course, her student visa was cancelled and she remained in the UK without valid leave. Rosa became pregnant, and this lead to an increase in verbal abuse from her boyfriend. There had been some physical abuse but Rosa felt that she did not have any options but to stay in the relationship because she had no immigration status. After her baby was born Rosa called us because the violence continued and she was worried for her safety and the safety of her daughter. She explained to our Advice Line Gateway Assistant that she had called the service because it was anonymous and she felt sure that she would not get into trouble for not having a valid visa.

One of our legal advisers telephoned Rosa back within 2 days and spoke to her about her immigration options. She discussed with her whether she wanted to remain in the UK or to return to her country of origin. Rosa did not feel safe to return as an unmarried mother. Our adviser outlined her options for her, including claiming asylum, or making an application based on her family and private life. Our Advice Line Gateway Assistant had previously sent Rosa a copy of our legal guide Women, Families and Article 8 and so our adviser was able to talk with Rosa in more detail about making an application.

Our adviser explained to Rosa that without access to legal aid to make a family life application, she would need to complete her own application and signposted her to charities and legal clinics that could assist her. The adviser also spoke to her about her options for financial support, whether she wanted to stay in her boyfriend’s property or leave, and advice on approaching her local authority for assistance. The adviser advised Rosa on her baby’s nationality and how to make an application for her baby’s passport.


Thank you so much. You gave me hope today.

Fatima’s story

Fatima suffered 8 years of physical agression and verbal abuse, leading her to call Rights of Women for help.

Maggie’s story

Maggie sought our help after her boyfriend forced her to have sex with him. We provided guidance and advice on multiples issues over a period of time.

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