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NRPF the Local and National context

Aanchal Women’s Aid is based in the London Borough of Redbridge, historically responding to need across Redbridge, Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Romford.

LOCAL CONTEXT

2011 census

Redbridge has pockets of deprivation. Loxford, Clementswood, and Hainault are wards with the highest numbers of Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) in the 20% and 40% most deprived in the country. Monkhams ward is at the other end of the spectrum with the highest proportion of LSOAs in either the 60% to 80% least deprived in the country.

Redbridge is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in London. Currently, approximately 63% of residents belong to Black or Minority Ethnic groups; this is expected to increase to 70% by 2026. Redbridge has a significant population of Asian origin. During the 2011 Census, 18% of residents identified themselves as having Indian ethnicity, 13% Pakistani, 7% Bangladeshi, as well as 10% identified as ‘Other Asian’. 45% of residents identified themselves as ‘white British’

75.4% of people living in Redbridge speak English. The other top languages spoken are 3.8% Urdu, 3.1% Panjabi, 2.6% Tamil, 2.5% Bengali, 2.3% Gujarati, 1.0% Lithuanian, 0.9% Polish, 0.7% Hindi, 0.7% Romanian.

Current Snapshot of Clayhall (Ward example) Redbridge 2020

Population make up of Redbridge has changed rapidly since 2011

62.1% of the population born in England

33.9% born in other countries

Religion

20.7%  Christian

30.5% Muslim

17.6% Hindu

7.8% Sikh

10.0% Jewish

Each Ward in Redbridge represents diverse demographics, unique and individual in its makeup and economy.

Demonstrating the existence of domestic abuse and NRPF – the economy is not a factor that determines the occurrence of NRPF.  For example, Monkhams ward is 60% least deprived in the country.  Aanchal Women’s Aid has supported women from this area, as well as other wards,  for support on NRPF, HBV, and forced marriage.  In fact, these issues are more hidden because of social status, a unique undertone on Honour, and many British Citizens who marry women from abroad are at the higher end of the economy and find it easy to disown and discard their brides after entry to the UK.  These can be men who are much older than the women they marry, with professionals being perpetrators of such behaviours.

  • At Aanchal Women’s Aid, self-referral numbers for people seeking help on NRPF has been increasing by 30% each year since 2014.  
  • Access to housing remains the main barrier to support.
  • Lack of access to health care decreases well-being which in turn decreases the will to fight.  

Without knowledge of rights, many fall through the net, remaining hidden in society, suffering vulnerabilities, often for years, before emerging at peak of destitution.

IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC

Impact on health care for NRPF victims at Aanchal:  those affected are unable to access vital health care, although they are able to access the corona-virus test.  People already live in fear of consequences of disclosure around the uncertainty of their immigration status and as a result, also do not seek health care.  This has had a significant impact during Covid-19.

Supporting ILR applications often have barriers when women have had to access emergency health care on NHS and are not aware they have accumulated debt.  Any debt at £500 minimum blocks the ILR applications.  Some women have thousands of pounds of debt they were not aware of.  

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, the Home Office has also launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse are aware that existing sources of support remain open to them.

Support/Response mechanisms should speak to the #YouAreNotAlone.  In fact, 40% of people seeking help do remain alone because they cannot access the full package of support at the time of crisis, which forces them to return to perpetrators and only those women who have been pushed out on the street tend to remain engaged with services out of sheer ‘No Choices Available’.  These are women who are willing to sleep on the street.

Access to emergency funds which are held only by certain organisations is resource and time-intensive, losing vital time-space to remain engaged with the victim.

THE NATIONAL CONTEXT

Findings of the following research are provided by social services in order to alleviate destitution when a person is excluded from mainstream benefits by their immigration status and has ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF). (2019-2020) – NRPF NETWORK

Summary of key findings  

  • The number of households being supported is reducing and overall spending has decreased as a result, but demand for assistance remains high.  
  • The reduction in caseload is mainly attributed to family households being more expediently resolved than cases involving adults with care needs, which are comparatively more costly to support and more challenging to resolve. 
  • A significant number of households have been supported on a long-standing basis but remain unresolved, contributing to the high number of average days on support.  The majority of households exit support following a grant of leave to remain, demonstrating that case resolution will usually be achieved through making successful immigration claims, rather than other outcomes, such as return to the country of origin.  

DATA

  • 66 local authorities supported 2450 households at an annual cost of £44 million at year-end.  
  • The Home Office responded to 14625 requests for immigration status information over the database. 
  • 5232 referrals (requests for support) were recorded, an increase of 11% compared to the total number recorded in 2018/2019. 
  •  77% of households exited support due to a grant of leave to remain, enabling them to access mainstream benefits and housing, and/or employment (82% for family households). 
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