October - Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Updated: Oct 25, 2021
October is #DVAM and TFP wants to take action by bringing attention to this issue. Especially because domestic violence rates are disproportionately higher in immigrant communities. Research studies suggest that the number of cases of DV among immigrant women can be as high as 49% while the national average for women is at 36.4%. The higher levels of vulnerability for immigrant women are due to unique barriers related to immigration status. These barriers create the perfect environment for what is known as immigration abuse, which includes: “threats of deportation, making reports to the DHS about the immigrant victim, seeking discovery of the immigration case file in a family court proceeding in violation of VAWA confidentiality, attempting to influence DHS adjudication of an immigration case the victim may have filed, and destruction or failure to turn over documentary evidence that a victim needs for her immigration case.” Other challenges include lack of support networks, language barriers to access services, gender stereotypes, formal education, religious beliefs, and fear of interaction with law enforcement that could potentially lead to deportation.
COVID has made the situation even worse for immigrant communities and particularly women who have been isolated in their houses. Many of them have lost their jobs and have increased their dependency to their abusers, making it more difficult for them to leave the abusive relationship.
Globally, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner
Emerging data shows an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines in many countries since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women continue to occur on streets, in public spaces and online.
Survivors have limited information and awareness about available services and limited access to support services.
In some countries, resources and efforts have been diverted from violence against women response to immediate COVID-19 relief.
The Family Place is committed to support survivors in our community. Through our Circulo de Mujeres, and in partnership with psychologist Claudia Campos, we provide a support group to empower women to positively improve their lives and the lives of their families. The majority of participants have experienced an abusive family situation either currently or in the past. This support group is developed in Spanish. In addition, our Case Managers also provide guidance to women who have experienced domestic violence by connecting them to a network of resources in the DC area.
To learn more about our work join us for our next FB live event on October 22nd where Claudia Campos will be moderating a conversation with partner organizations about how domestic violence impacts immigrant communities and how we can help.