The Independent’s blog, Minority Report, tells us the harrowing story of Anita, who, after arriving in the U.K. on a spousal visa, was trapped in a viciously violent marriage since she was forbidden to access public funds for the first 2 years of her stay in the U.K.

Basically, to make sure she’s not a benefits fraudster, she almost died.

From the article:

Anita first tried to escape from her husband in January 2007. After a particularly vicious beating she was locked in the bathroom by her husband. She decided to escape and jumped out of the window, injuring herself in the process.

She told me (in the near perfect English she’s been practising) that a man found her sobbing at a nearby bus stop and took her to his neighbours, who were Asian. The police came round, took a statement and said they would be back tomorrow. In fact it took them two weeks to come back again. The family tried to get Anita into a women’s refuge centre but because she was forbidden from accessing public funds most refuges are forced to say no and she couldn’t get in anywhere.

She couldn’t return to India because her parents would have disowned her and eventually she felt she could no longer be a burden to the kind family that took her in and decided to go back to her husband. It wasn’t long before the beatings resumed. By September she was in hospital again with a broken cheekbone and a bleeding wrist from an attempted suicide bid.

This is sick, and, as the blogger notes, totally avoidable, as other countries simply added provisions stating that victims of domestic abuse will automatically be exempt from these exclusions. Not difficult or complicated. As one commenter recommends, if you’re in the UK, write to your local MP asking “why vulnerable women in their own constituencies were being trapped in this cycle of violence.” And when they realize they can’t come up with an answer for that, maybe things’ll start to change.

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