Founder/Executive Director BeaSister2aSister.org
With all of the chaos still happening at the boarders and children still separated from their parents in detention facilities where most are being abused, being a domestic violence victim is no longer applicable to claim asylum. This shouldn’t be too surprising. Women in the United States who are victims of domestic violence are not treated much differently. 1 in 3 women are a victim of domestic violence, 1 in 7 women have been stalked by an intimate partner and the presence of a gun in a home where there is domestic violence increases the risk of death by 500%. These are recent statistics put out by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). When a women finds herself to be a victim she experiences higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies. There are so many factors that come into play that destroy a woman’s life as well as the children she is trying to protect. The vulnerability of a child when they are the witness of a traumatic and violent event can leave a devastating impact and scar them for life. The threat to a woman losing her life to domestic violence in the States is the same as if she was coming from Central America and not receiving the right protections. ...read more...
Domestic violence has always been thought of as a “woman’s issue” and therefore women should deal with it. This suggests that it’s all her fault and whatever is it that SHE’S doing is causing this to happen her and only she can fix it. The burden is not with the woman but with the toxic mentality of the man she is with. The understanding that there is significant danger if he is allowed to have access to her and their children keep her in an hyper state of anxiousness. The threat doesn’t change because of geography. So many women are misidentified and wrongly accused by police officers who are either not properly trained or just don’t care. The justice system is so flawed that unless a woman is found dead, the case gets dismissed. Forcing a victim to provide witnesses and extensive physical damage to her body is an ignorant and uneducated response to a horrific situation. Domestic violence is committed behind closed doors with no witnesses and overwhelming shame. All of this forcing women to suffer in silence. Unless her abuser is jailed and unable to get to her, she will have to live with the abuse until her body can’t take it anymore. If the United States Justice System doesn’t protect domestic violence victims how can we expect Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do the same with asylum seekers? This is a dangerous message in the time of Trump because being a victim of this kind of abuse can be delegitimized and relegated to a misunderstanding.
When you turn away and reject asylum seekers who are escaping domestic violence from foreign countries, you are also rejecting the women in America who have been fighting for their freedom from violence for years. This is not an us versus them, this is for all women who are trapped and trying to find refuge from the systems who said they would help them only to be failed again and again. Women from Central America are no different from women in the United States, their children deserve better and they deserve to have a mother who is with them and not an unfortunate consequence of a marriage or relationship gone wrong. We must look at the big picture and understand that the laws being written are not just for “certain” women, they’re for all women. We must pay attention to the way the Trump Administration is treating these women seeking asylum from violence because their laws will be our laws.
When AG Jeff Sessions says domestic violence isn’t grounds for seeking asylum it’s the same as a judge saying that because no one saw what happened or she looks fine to me, believes justice has been served. Both will be sent back to their abuser and one or both may not see another day. This is not a one dimensional issue, there are layers that need to be picked apart. If we make this a black and white issue there will never be justice and more women will die leaving children behind to process everything. If there is a well founded fear that if a woman is sent back to her country or her home that she will be killed, action should be taken to do whatever necessary to protect her and her children. It shouldn’t matter what her ethnicity, skin color or cultural background is. Domestic violence is killing women. Period.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog! BeaSister2aSister is a 501(c)3 non profit that helps survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, abuse and exploitation to gain the skills and tools to become self sustainable again and break away from interdependence. We are based in Brooklyn, NY with programs in several countries.
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