Demographics

The foreign-born population in the U.S. now totals more than 38 million.  They are also more diverse in their countries of origin
Children (under 18) with at least one immigrant parent make up 24.8% in the U.S.  Of the foreign-born residing here, over 85% have legal documentation

 Views on Domestic Violence

In many cultures….

  • Domestic Violence is not considered a crime or may be so entrenched in cultural/social norms as to not be recognized
  • Family violence is not addressed by the government or in the media
  • Victim shame and embarrassment often prevents them from seeking help
  • DV is either not reported or reported as a “home accident”
  • Family violence may be ignored because it brings shame on the victim’s family
  • Some victims resort to committing suicide as a way of escape


Shelter Challenges

Although shelters are designed to assist victims, shelter environments in the U.S. often pose other sets of challenges for immigrant victims, including the: 

  • inability to acclimate due to a distrust in everyone (victims often come from environments where even legal authorities cannot be trusted)
  • lack of transportation to victim services, school, or employment opportunities
  • lack of access to cultural food or clothing and religious practices
  • lack of privacy

 

Barriers in Escaping Abuse
Victims and survivors in immigrant communities often have to undergo numerous barriers to escape abuse, including:


  • Morals, beliefs, and practices of their original culture
  • Relationship Roles
  • Fear of losing their children
  • Religion
  • Community Intervention
  • Lack of knowledge about laws
  • Lack of knowledge about social services
  • Lack of support system
  • Feelings of isolation
  • Financial Factors ~ Abuser may be the only wage earner in household
  • Threats from their abuser to have them deported, or reported to authorities


Other Barriers:

  • Undocumented/expired documentation
  • No I.D.
  • No Social Security #
  • Lack of official documents for client or children

            --Birth certificates

            --Marriage license
            --Immunization records

            --School transcripts

            --Medical Records

  • Lack of finances or income

  • No work permit
  • ​Fear of deportation
  • No access to food stamps or Temporary Assistance Program for Families (TANF)​

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