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CharlotteSJ
CharlotteSJ, Immigration Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  I have 6 years experience in Immigration law and I am accredited to LSC Level 2 and OISC Level 3.
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ForCharlotteSJ for CharlotteSJ I am an Asian language graduate

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I am an Asian language graduate from a good family but I am alone here and I have no one in the UK that I can tell my story to and I am frightened so I hope you can help me
I am sorry my letter is so long but when you have read it you will understand why. Basically my husband coerced me into being a prostitute once I came to the UK but, now that I have run away from him with the money I earned, he says I am breaking the law so I need to know – Am I a thief? ; Can I be caught by the police and sent to prison as he says? ; Will UKBA come after me and deport me because he says that, as I am legally his wife, if I don’t live with him then I am breaking the law? I know that if I wanted to live permanently in the UK it says that I have to still be married at the end of two years but I cannot continue with this life so what am I supposed to do please. My explanation is too long to write here so I will add the details in stages if you say you can help me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  CharlotteSJ replied 2 years ago.
First of all I am so sorry to hear of your situation.

When did you arrive in the UK? When did you get your spouses visa and when does it expire?

There is a provision for getting Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK from a spouses visa before the expiry of your visa if you have been the victim of domestic violence.

If your husband has been forcing you into prostitution then you could be successful in an application on this basis.

First of all you need to ensure that you go somewhere safe. There are many women's refuges who can help women who are suffering from domestic violence. They will be able to give you accommodation and provide you with counseling to deal with the traumatic experience you have been through.

Have you reported this to the police? If not and you feel strong enough to be able to do so then you should for 3 reasons.

1. He cannot be allowed to get away with this or force any more women into this situation; and

2. Evidence from the police can help to support your application.

3. You may be able to seek an injunction against him coming anywhere near you again though you may need the help of a family/matrimonial solicitor for this. Previous police involvement will assist in getting this injunction or non-molestation order.

You then need to go and see an immigration solicitor who offers legal aid and they will be able to take a full statement from you detailing the treatment you received and submit this with the relevant forms to the Home Office.

While ever you are on a spouses visa and not living with him, your husband can write to the Home Office and notify them that the marriage has broken down and therefore you are no longer dependent on him. This may prompt the Home Office to curtail your leave and result in you having to be asked to leave or indeed removed as they will not know the background to your case and it is unlikely your husband will volunteer the information. Therefore you need to take action and make an application yourself. The women's refuge will be able to write a supporting letter to go with your application to the Home Office and if you can get witness statement of his treatment of you from other people then this too could be helpful. If you were physically injured from the forced prostitution (which could be argued to be rape) and you attended your GP then again your doctor's notes will be helpful. If it is just psychologically you have been abused then a letter from your counselor or psychologist report may be helpful.

I hope this is helpful and gives you some idea about where to go from here. I am sorry that you have not been able to get hold of me before now, I don't spend very much time on here at the moment but if you need to get hold of me, I believe that you can request specific experts directly through this site and send messages. If you do this I'll get an email telling me to log on.

Best of luck

Charlotte
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you - I am safe now and I don't think he will find me. Now I am away from him I am not scared of him like I was when living with him.

This was my original letter

I am an Asian language graduate from a good family but I am alone here and I have no one in the UK that I can tell my story to and I am frightened so I hope you can help me

I am sorry my letter is so long but when you have read it I need to know - Am I a thief? ; Can I be caught by the police and sent to prison as he says? ; Will UKBA come after me and deport me as he says that I am legally his wife and if I don't live with him then I am breaking the law? I know that if I wanted to live permanently in the UK it says that I have to still be married at the end of two years but I cannot continue with this life so what am I supposed to do please. My explanation is over 5,000 characters

 

I met my husband when he responded to a "meet partners" entry I made in a number of quality English newspapers. We then built, for nine months, a relationship over the internet and Skype, during which time he came to visit me twice, before I came to England on a six month visit. Although I knew he had been sexually adventurous in his past I was not prepared for being taken to a "spa" on my first weekend in England where most people were naked and many were having sex in view of everyone. I was so shocked that I was physically sick but he tried to encourage me to join in but I refused and we argued about it as he said it was "fun". He kept being aggressive and shouting and saying that if I really loved him I would do what he wanted so I relented a little, but each week it was "do more, do more" until I eventually had full sex with another man whilst he watched and got turned on and then it was every time we went. He kept saying that this was fun whilst we were single but would stop when we were married which I believed. Then he started talking about leaving England and starting a dream life in Asia after we were married which I was happy to do, but then he started saying he had no money, that me living here and not working was expensive and, as I had already had sex with men at the "spa" why not make them pay for it.

I was shocked that he was suggesting I became a prostitute and said No but he became very angry and violent and kept saying that if I really loved him I would do it as we needed the money to start our new life and I felt beaten so gave in and it started. He wrote out adverts for me to put up in shops and other places and I worked from home using our own bed. From the first customer he took money from me to pay off his overdraft, gave me £100 a week to buy clothes, make up etc and told me to set up a bank account and put the rest in there for our "dream life". Because I was now having customers he started bringing women back to the house and demanded that I join them for sex sessions. If I tried to refuse he would get aggressive and verbally abusive and at times violent. He became more and more obsessed about how much money I could earn if I worked harder and kept checking how much I had "saved". When I asked him about the money he was taking he said it was a loan and he would repay it. If I had not had a customer by the time he came home from work he would get angry and violent and accuse me of just leaving him to do all the work. Some days I had as many as four customers in an afternoon but as soon as he got home he demanded his "rights" even though I had said I was sore and tired. I wanted to believe that after we were married it would stop but it didn't. We were married in my country when I returned home at the expiry of my visa and then I came back and we married legally in the UK and I now have a two year residents visa. A few months ago he started talking of his plans to set up a "spa" in our new home abroad and then I knew that my life as a prostitute would never stop. He then demanded all the money in my account as he needed it "for a while" and then a couple of months ago he put the money back and also made a number of large payments to my account which was almost the same amount as I should have had if he hadn't "borrowed" any. I did not ask about the money as I knew that if I did violent scenes would follow.

I then realised that if I went with him in January as planned I would never be free so at the end of November I ran away when he was at work, changed all the passwords to my bank accounts and emails and have not spoken to him since. My only communication has been by email and he accuses me of having "stolen his money" and keeps threatening to go to the police if I do not return what he is demanding which is about 75% of what I have in my account. He is also saying that he will report me to UKBA and that they won't believe me as it happens a lot. I have told him that I have kept evidence of everything that happened and when I was looking for information I found papers about his first wife which I knew nothing about. I thought he had only been married once and divorced his wife because she was unfaithful and then he married me but I found letters that showed he treated his last wife as badly as me and she left him. He is a liar all the time but I don't know if he is lying about what will happen to me so please help me know what my real situation is.

Can he make me give back money that he put into my bank account?

Expert:  CharlotteSJ replied 2 years ago.
What an awful situation. I am very glad that you are at least safe now.

It is possible for him to go to the police about the money - it is in an account in your name, put there by you and by him and so I would say that it is unlikely that the police would deem that you have stolen it as it would probably be deemed to be yours in the first place. However, it depends on what he tells them. If he says that it is a loan then again, there is no criminal aspect but he could try to argue that you owe the money back to him and he could try to sue you for it. These would be civil proceedings in the courts rather than involving the police. If you go to the police and give your story to them about what you were forced into then in the event he does to try to report that you have stolen the money, the police will already be aware of the situation.

As detailed above, he could report you to the UKBA for not complying with the terms of your spouse visa any more which could result in its curtailment and so I would recommend that you pre-empt any action he may take and take steps yourself to legalise your situation.

You have been through a horrible experience and so even though you are now in a place of safety, I would still recommend that you seek assistance from a women's aid group to support you emotionally and help you to arrange the steps advised above.

All the best,

Charlotte

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