“On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”
While we have come a long way in preventing abuse against women, it’s not always as black and white as filing a report to the police. There are other factors at play that prevent the victim from coming forwards. Cristina, an undocumented immigrant, arrived from Mexico in the 1980s and is too scared to report domestic violence for fear that she will be deported.
Cristina isn’t the only one who is afraid of being deported. There has been a massive drop in sexual assault and domestic abuse among Latinos throughout the country since the election of Donald Trump. This has nothing to do with actual incidents and more to do with reporting. Immigrants are less willing to go to the police in cities with large Latino populations such as Houston, Los Angeles and Denver. Bringing your attacker to justice is oftentimes a long, drawn out process and forces victims to relive the incident when most want to move on and forget it.
This fear has played out several times before. In February a women received a protective order against a man who abused her. Immigration and customs enforcement agents quickly arrested her directly after. This Texas case has had a profound impact on immigrants willing to come forwards throughout the country.
“When you’re talking about immigrant communities, you’re talking about perceptions and whether those perceptions are accurate or not,” Ms. Lucibello said. “If the perception is that there is a greater risk if you go to the police, you are going to be less likely to do so, and you are more likely to stay in an abusive relationship until you need to seek treatment at a hospital.”
Do you know anyone who’s had to deal with this before?
Need a safe place to find support?
Want to share your story?