Domestic violence is a grave issue that affects a huge section of the female population globally. Abusive behavior in a domestic set up is typically associated with the dynamics of power and control, and manifests itself in the form of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
Immigrant women in the United States may feel they are in a particularly precarious position because they fear they will lose their immigration status if they report their sponsor for domestic abuse. In fact, their abuser may threaten them with deportation.
However, domestic violence is a crime in the United States, and under the Violence Against Women Act a woman who flees an abusive situation is protected from deportation. If you are in this situation, check with an immigration lawyer to find out how to navigate your immigration status.
Here a few ways to take action when you are a victim of domestic violence –
- If you are in a situation of domestic violence, don’t remain silent and seek immediate help from a trusted family member, friend, or a NGO.
- Don’t wait to seek help until you are physically abused by your partner, because emotional, financial, sexual abuse in a domestic setting also counts as domestic violence.
- Until your report your case of domestic violence, make a habit of documenting the exact dates and details of any acts of violence perpetrated on you.
- Keep all your important documents safe and handy, so that if there is an emergency situation, you can leave the home with them.
- If it is a case of physical violence and the matter has gone out of control, take immediate action to relocate with the help of local organizations.
- Make yourself aware of the law in your area, and fight back to protect your integrity and self esteem.