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Help Vanessa with legal fees please
£115 raised
12% of £1k goal
2 contributors
3 Years running
I am facing "removal" from the country, please help me raise £1000 for legal fees. I have contributed to the economy for 15 years, paid my taxes, worked legally. Thank you so much in advance xxx

I am Vanessa, a 43 year old South African living in the UK. I fell in love with a guy from N.Ireland and after a year or two we married, but after a few years we parted ways, so I no longer live with him. I have contributed to the UK economy for 15 years now, working always on the books and paying my taxes in the UK fully for all that time. I have never claimed benefits, even when being off work due to sickness. But since moving to Devon, I have recently found myself in a situation where I had to go into a woman's refuge due to a domestic violence situation, and it led me to force myself to claim ESA and housing benefit (for the first ever time) in the refuge. Wiltshire Council felt I shouldn't be claiming benefits. I was still under the impression that due to paying my national insurance all these years, and my being a partner of an EEA National that I was within my rights to fall back on these benefits briefly before finding my feet again and this was confirmed by an immigration solicitor. I have never tried to hide myself or evade the law. I have never worked cash in hand jobs, I have always paid my taxes, had a joint mortgage with a partner, worked and lived as a productive part of the community. I was issued with a national insurance number in Belfast in 1999. Yes, I had apparently neglected to organise paperwork to renew my family permit, which has come back to haunt me. I was at the woman's refuge in Salisbury on Friday, 16 May when I was interviewed by four immigration officers who served me documents to say I was effectively an illegal. I have been put on remand and have to report to the immigration offices in Portsmouth weekly. I have had all my benefits stopped and have had to take shelter with my a friend. I have been told I am not allowed to work or I will be detained. I have no income and my friend, although has offered me a roof over my head is not in a financial situation where he can be providing for me. I am not entitled to legal aid and have no money at all to try and hire a solicitor. I have recently been given the possible diagnosis of PTSD due to sexual, physical and mental abuse in my childhood. There is also a host of other traumas in my life, ranging from suicide of a sibling, being raped at 16 and suffering the loss of a twin pregnancy stage 26 weeks at the age of 18. I have distanced myself from my family back in South Africa and have no friends of family who would could possibly take me in if I do get deported. In fact, my sister has promised to kill me if I go back to South Africa. I have found a solicitor in London who is prepared to take on my case but can't offer me pro-bono work, his fees will be up to £3000, but is prepared to take a deposit of £1000 and let me pay the remainder over time, so it's only the deposit that I need to ask you to help with for noe. Please please help, every little bit will add up.... Thank you. Love and light xxx

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