Thursday, 31 December 2015

When is domestic violence not domestic violence?

Confession: since I inherited my son's smartphone from about two years ago I have developed the bad habit of checking my phone in bed.

Today, first thing in the morning, I replied to YP's WhatsApp wishing me a good 2016. We go back to secondary school, YP and I.

On Radio 4 I heard someone say the likes of NHS (National Health Service) do not have 'buyers' who know what they want about their IT system. So £40 MILLION down the drain. Yep. Wrote and spoke about that elsewhere.

Then read of how the UK Border people -- what ever they are called now -- are making it easy for immigrants who claim domestic violence to gain citizenship (or here).

Guess what? I wrote to the UK Border Agency in October 2012 with information about how I thought it more than a coincidence that several people knocking on our doors for help had been turfed out by their spouses.

An even more 'confounding' case was that of a woman who claimed that she did not know that the man she married and who had sponsored her visa was already married. The woman claimed 'domestic violence' (emotional, as a result of being cheated) and that she could not return to her family because she had married outside her caste.

She was back in a couple of weeks with a stamp on her passport giving her access to generous welfare benefits.

What about the man who contracted a bigamous marriage, which is illegal? As far as I know he did not face any legal repercussions (hopefully I am wrong in this).

Extract from my letter (to which I had no reply):

As a taxpayer I would like UKBA to answer the following questions:

(1)   How stringently are applicants who sponsor spouses checked for their current marital status before visas for spouses are approved?

(2)   Would this woman’s husband who made the fraudulent visa application, and who promised to support her but is not doing so, now be prosecuted, or would he suffer no penalty at all?

(3)   What is there to stop this client’s husband ‘marrying’ another woman, get found to be bigamous, thus letting her claim benefits on grounds of not being able to return to her country?

(4)   Even though no domestic violence was perpetrated, why was this woman given LOTR [Leave Outside the Rules, to remain in the country] on grounds of domestic violence?

(5)   If applicants such as this woman make a claim that she cannot return to her family due to her marrying outside her caste, what does UKBA do to verify this claim? More scientifically, how might this claim be verifiable at all?

(6)   How many cases do you have on file where immigrants claim that they cannot return to their homes because they have married ‘outside their caste’?

It irks me so when people make a mockery of our rules. Domestic violence is no laughing matter because real people get hurt when there is real violence. It is not something that we should -- as we say in Singapore -- play-play about.

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