Immigrants and Refugees Survivors
Both American survivors immigrating abroad and foreign-born survivors immigrating to the U.S. with an American spouse or children face barriers such as:
- Abusers often withhold documentation of the survivor and their children, and even threaten to destroy it to maintain power and control.
- Some deportation processes include holding the survivor in detention centers until they have money to send them back to their home country where they await heavy fines, or abusers will threaten deportation as a way to separate the survivor from the children.
- Many immigrant survivors are brought to the country as dependents on their abuser’s VISA/immigration process making it difficult to leave the abuser.
- In some countries local residency or citizenship are necessary for a survivor to receive helpful resources to be able leave their abuser.
- Survivors who are linguistic and cultural minorities face even more barriers of racism and xenophobia, not only from their abuser, but from society at large.
- Isolation is also a common and serious barrier, especially if the survivor does not know the language, local customs, nor has a connection to a local immigrant community that is both familiar and sympathetic to domestic violence.
- Linguistic and cultural differences can force the survivor to rely on their abuser to connect to the outside world which creates further dependency.
- Any person residing within a country’s limits is expected to follow the local country’s laws, so abusers may intentionally try to keep survivors unaware of their rights within that country.
- Specialized immigration attorneys familiar with the legal options survivors have are expensive, especially if the client does not speak the local language and needs a translation service.