Domestic Violence Retained Rights Appeal Allowed!

Another fantastic result from Oksana Demyanchuk and her client after another successful appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

The client, in this case, came to Sterling & Law Associates LLP after her marriage to an EEA national had broken down on grounds of domestic violence. Accordingly, an application for a residence card on the basis of the retained right of residence was made to the Home Office.

However, this application was refused as the marriage between our client and her EEA national Sponsor has not lasted for at least 3 years and the Home Office was not satisfied that our client had been a victim of domestic violence as there was little documentary or no independent evidence to corroborate our client’s claim to have been the victim of domestic violence.

Accordingly, Oksana lodged an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the decision of the Home Office, asserting that the client’s claim to be the victim of domestic violence was credible and therefore the Home Office decision was unlawful.

As is often the case in matters involving domestic violence, our client had little tangible evidence to demonstrate that they were a victim of such violence. Therefore, Oksana has placed particular attention and emphasis on the witness statements in the appeal.

The Judge, accepting that evidence in cases of domestic violence is not always available, found that the evidence of our client and witnesses was credible and gave a detailed picture that our client was, in fact, a victim of domestic violence. In doing so the Judge noted the following:

“I am not confined or restricted to independent documentary evidence such as that which the respondent may usually seek in cases involving or alleging domestic violence. The absence of police and medical reports are not necessarily indicators that the appellant did not suffer or was not the victim of domestic violence.

There are a whole host of reasons why those who suffer domestic violence, and especially women victims of male perpetrators, are reluctant to report to the police and the authorities that they are such victims. The reasons can be multifarious and complex and this is well documented in much research and studies in the area of domestic violence.