All women who have lived through violence and abuse should have the certainty that the law will protect them — no matter their race, creed, color, religion or immigration status. Unfortunately, Congress is now considering proposals that would erode this certainty — and its failure to act is already causing harm.
We urge congressional leaders to move forward now to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, without provisions harmful to immigrants.
As long-time law enforcement leaders, we know this act is crucial. Since passage in 1994, it has helped cut domestic violence by more than half. Still, the scourge of domestic violence remains a serious problem: One in four women experiences an act of domestic violence or sexual assault in her lifetime, and three women die every day at the hands of abusive husbands or partners.
Rates of trafficking women — often from one abusive context to another — are also alarmingly high. Roughly 100,000 survivors of human trafficking live in the United States today, according to the State Department, whose estimates suggest as many as 17,500 foreign-born victims are illegally brought in each year.
This is an important read!
From the article “For many of these women, immigration status is one more weapon that abusers use to intimidate them. Abusers often threaten, “You can’t call the police. They’ll just deport you.”
It is imperative that we protect EVERY individual experiencing violence, VAWA saves lives. It can and will save MORE lives if it isn’t watered down and made to exclude immigrant women.