In the media: ‘They’re taunting me’: Home Office asylum interviews are retraumatising rape survivors

According to Emily Burnham, a casework coordinator in the asylum team at Women Against Rape, Home Office policy is meant to protect victims of rape and torture from re-traumatisation by allowing them to submit written evidence, such as a psychological report. However, says Burnham, to benefit from this policy, survivors need a legal aid lawyer with the capacity and funding to do this work. Due to legal aid underfunding, most victims are forced to attend the interview alone, despite the risk of being re-traumatised.

See the powerpoint slides (below) for this fantastic seminar, Training seminar: the Substantive Interview — a Practical Guide for Vulnerable Individuals. held 4 June 2024. at Crossroads Women’s Centre.  It provides useful tips and practical advice for people seeking asylum, their representatives and supporters ahead of their substantive asylum interview, with a particular focus on the situation of survivors of rape and other gender-based violence.