Each person who comes through LifeWire’s doors has one thing in common – they are experiencing domestic violence. Yet every survivor’s story is unique.
Every survivor brings to the table a myriad of other factors – including income level, gender, race, immigration status, access to healthcare, sexual orientation or age – that impact the risks they face, the resources available to them and the choices they make.
Some of our participants have to choose between ending their relationship with their abusive partner or becoming homeless. Some have to choose between remaining undocumented or filing for citizenship and risking deportation. Others risk loss of professional or community status. Some fear that they will not be taken seriously.
To understand the unique barriers and challenges survivors of domestic violence face, we must also understand the other issues that impact their lives, their families and their communities.
Starting in September – through our Voices From The Field E-Newsletter – we’ll be exploring one issue at a time through the lens of domestic violence. Together, we’ll explore “Domestic Violence and…”.
Imagine you are Maria.
After years of being abused by your husband, you finally found the opportunity to leave. On your way to your very first support group at LifeWire, you look over to the car next to you. All of a sudden a woman starts screaming at you, “Do you even speak English? Go back to where you came from.”
Imagine you are Maryam.
You and your 9-year-old daughter are both fully-veiled practicing Muslims. The verbal threats you receive each time you take public transit have become too much to bear. Instead of coming to LifeWire to meet with your advocate and pick-up food for yourself and your child, you stay home instead.
Imagine you are Nadia.
The man you married back home in Eastern Europe forced you to move to the U.S. on a visa when your boys were just babies. When his violence and abuse became too much for you to take, you left him. He went back home, leaving you stranded with your two sons, no documentation and no money. Now, your oldest son works full-time at a local drugstore under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to support you and your younger son, whose disabilities require around the clock care.
Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Immigration”