Detention

Immigration detention is extremely harmful to women seeking safety, impacting their physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we campaign to end detention altogether.

Our ground-breaking research shows that the majority of asylum-seeking women who are detained are survivors of rape and other forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital cutting, and sexual exploitation.

Our research

There is no time limit on immigration detention in the UK, meaning women are often locked up for weeks and months on end, with no idea of when they will be released. Locking up women who have already survived so much inflicts immense harm and retraumatises them. Many experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal ideation.

Despite this, the Government continue to detain women seeking safety in the UK. That’s why, since 2014, we have been campaigning to change this.

As our End Detention group, for women with experience of detention, has said:

"Being detained is harmful and lonely. It affected us mentally and physically. It takes you away from your family, and kills your spirit. We are human beings, like everyone else."

Write to your MP

We are campaigning to:

Shut down Derwentside

Derwentside is currently the main detention centre for women, and close the small units for women at Yarl’s Wood, Colnbrook and Dungavel detention centres.

Alternatives to detention

Increase the use of community-based, engagement-focused alternatives to detention, which work to resolve asylum and immigration cases in the community.

End the use of immigration detention completely.

“When you come here to seek protection from abuse, exploitation and persecution but instead the Home Office locks you up, you wonder if you are in a good country or in hell. I am still living with the trauma of detention and I don’t want other women to go through this pain.”

– Agnes Tanoh, our Spokesperson Facilitator