Rights of Women – new ‘exceptional case’ service for women

Rights of Women is offering a new service to women who have experienced domestic or sexual violence or abuse and need access to legal advice or representation under legal aid, in relation to an immigration law or family law issue.

You may be aware that since 1 April 2013, legal aid has not been available in many areas of immigration law as well as much of family law (unless the individual can prove they have been a victim of domestic violence with specified evidence). However if an individual’s immigration or family law case is one for which legal aid is no longer generally available, they may still be able to get legal aid by applying for ‘exceptional case funding’.

Exceptional case funding is a type of legal aid that is available to individuals who apply to the Legal Aid Agency and who can show their human rights or European Union rights would be breached if they did not have legal aid. An individual may qualify for exceptional case funding if it would be unfair to have to present their own case or they would be unable to effectively do so. This may arise because the case is complicated or the individual is less able to deal with the case alone – e.g. because they are a survivor of domestic abuse.

Rights of Women’s Exceptional Case Funding Project will provide one-to-one casework support to assist women in need of legal help on family or immigration law issues to apply for exceptional case funding. Unfortunately, due to capacity constraints they cannot guarantee to assist all women referred and are not able to provide interpretation services.

Who to refer

Women who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and abuse, and:

  • Are a resident of England or Wales
  • Need a family law or immigration law help.


In family cases:

  • Women who are otherwise unable to access legal aid, for example because they do not have the specified evidence of domestic violence.


In immigration cases:

  • Women who may have a European right of residence because they are an EU citizen or are the family member of an EU citizen (including having a British citizen child)
  • Women who may have a human rights case, for example because they have a family or private life in the UK.


How to refer

For more information, and a referral form, please email [email protected].

© 2022 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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