Victories 14 November 2017

In which Ms T makes an immigration officer cry!
Ms T is a survivor of rape and trafficking and has a son born in the UK. When in this country, she was made destitute and was forced to rely on an abusive and violent man. She won the right to remain as the carer of her son but bravely decided to pursue her own asylum claim instead. She recently went for her asylum interview with the Home Office and when she reported back to us, she posed us the question: Have you ever seen an immigration officer cry? Performing as the star in our play ‘We Are Here Because You Were There’ helped Ms T have the confidence and courage to speak out about what had happened to her, and this resulted in a beyond rare phenomenon: an immigration officer responding to an asylum seeker’s testimony with actual human emotion! Ms T is still waiting for the decision on her asylum claim. We hope the immigration officer’s response to Ms T’s testimony translates into the just and human acceptance of her case.

‘My victory is knowing this place’
Ms G, who fled Nigeria and was detained at Yarl’s Wood, insisted that being a member of AAWG was a victory in itself. Women Against Rape supported Ms G in using the Vulnerable Witness Guidance in her case (see WAR’s report on using the Vulnerable Witness Guidance to win YF Cameroon). ‘If I’d not known this place I don’t know where would I be by now,’ said Ms G, and she shared her appreciation for the group and all its members. Thank you to Ms G for reminding us that it truly is a victory that we are all able to come together to support and celebrate each other every two weeks.

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