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New domestic violence help service

"Many women are trapped with a violent partner", says the immigration adviser at the Preston Women’s Refuge. 16 October 2008. Preston Women’s Refuge will now be able to offer immigration service advice to victims of domestic violence across the whole county.

The widening of the service – which offers advice in English, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu – was made possible by a grant from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Safiya Badat, assistant director and immigration adviser, said: "Every year, women who arrive in the UK as immigrants and asylum seekers experience domestic violence.

"Many women we support are married to or have a relationship with a man who is a British citizen or who has settled status to reside in the UK.

"Many of the women have children who are British citizens – all of these women have no rights to public funds.

"As a result many are trapped with a violent partner. They have a choice – stay in the relationship and risk their lives or leave and face deportation and destitution."

If you or somebody you know is suffering from domestic violence, you can call a 24-hour helpline on 01772 201601 or visit the drop-in centre in St John’s shopping centre, Lancaster Road, Preston.

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