After expanding our Immigration Legal Team in recent years, we have been able to assist in more specialist immigration cases that involve domestic violence. Although most immigration cases are complicated, it can be particularly difficult to work through the layers to help someone remain in the UK when someone has experienced domestic violence. A clear example of this is Kosi’s case, who was concerned she wouldn’t be able to remain in the UK if she left her spouse. This is her story.

Kosi is originally from Ghana and had been living in the UK for several years with her husband and child. She was in the UK under a spouse visa but began feeling unsafe because of controlling, coercive and threatening behaviour from her partner.

Kosi came to BHT Sussex for advice, and we began helping her. The first thing we assisted her with was making an application for the Destitution Domestic Violence (DDV) concession which grants public funds to those suffering from domestic violence, who need to leave the home where the abuse is taking place. Kosi’s application was accepted, and she was able to safely move out of the property with her child.

The case was complex as there had not been any physical violence against Kosi, but there was a long history of coercive control, and financial control from her ex-husband. This type of abuse is hard to prove with hard evidence, but we managed to get supporting letters from a domestic violence charity supporting Kosi, and from social services who validated Kosi’s experience.

After taking a detailed statement from Kosi, we contacted numerous other witnesses. It became clear that many people in Kosi’s community had witnessed threatening, abusive and coercive behaviour. We took statements from many of these witnesses and, alongside a lot of other supportive evidence, submitted it to the Home Office.

After six months, we later received news from the Home Office that Kosi was granted indefinite leave to remain, meaning she can live, work and study here for as long as she wants. This was an excellent result for Kosi, who could finally move on with her life with her child without worrying about being removed from the UK. Kosi would’ve been in an extremely precarious situation should the application have been rejected and she was grateful for our support and representation.

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