Domestic violence in immigrant communities

Transitional housing coordinator Beena Mathew (cq) (left) works with a client at Apna Ghar, a shelter serving primarily South Asian women who are victims of domestic violence, during a meeting at their Uptown office in Chicago on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. (Chris Sweda/ Chicago Tribune)

Welcome to 2013.

This year at Hoy we are looking at domestic violence in immigrant communities.

It’s an important topic for many reasons.

Domestic violence is something that occurs among all racial and ethnic groups, and there are certain particular aspects in immigrant communities.
At times, the immigration status of the victim can affect her efforts to seek help.

It’s also a topic associated with high levels of shame that can make it difficult to talk openly about the experience.

There’s a legislative aspect, too.
The Violence Against Women Act expired in 2011 and thus far has not been replaced.

The expired version had specific protections for immigrant women.

The Senate passed a new proposed law with the same protections, but the version passed by the House eliminated those parts.

We are going to cover what happens this year with that law.

We are going to talk with survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence and tell their stories and healing processes.

We are going to look at state funds to identify trends.

In other words, we’re starting a conversation.

We want the conversation to be sensitive and useful.

For that, we need to hear from you.

We’re going to start the conversation with a survey of available resources for immigrant residents of the state.

To understand that, we are going to contact all the service providers listed on the Department of Human Services’ web site.

We’ll ask them the number of people served and the resources they have for immigrants.

We’ll share what we learn with you.

We want to hear from you, too.

The health of our communities depends on it.


El autor

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein es Editor de Bases de Datos e Investigaciones Vívelohoy

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