In the movement to End Domestic Violence and Exploitation, we are constantly forced to fight back with survivors. The trauma faced by an individual or family who has experienced violence is exponentially greater when the parties have no reprieve. The United States has offered asylum to victims whose countries either condone or effectively have no policy on violence in an intimate relationship. This week we have not only heard our Attorney General make a decision that jeopardizes the lives of these victims, but our president was reluctant to react to separation of families detained at the border. No matter politics, People Matter. The trauma of children and families torn apart and the lasting impact of domestic violence will lead to further violence. The asylum ruling and the treatment of families brings tears to my eyes.
I remember Gina. A young woman from Guatemala who escaped her abuser, fled to the United States not knowing what was to come. The process she shared was long and arduous, but today after 3 years, she is safe, has a young daughter and is “working, paying rent, and being a productive member of society.” When Gina shared this with me, I asked her what she thought about the current asylum situation and she broke down in tears and said she would have been dead without this life line.
This week the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence released this call to action:
Attorney General Sessions issued a decision in the case In the Matter of A-B, which limits the ability of domestic violence victims to apply for asylum cases. It does not bar this practice, but does increase restrictions. It will impact not only domestic violence survivors, but also groups fleeing genocide by other ethnic groups, witnesses to human rights abuses targeted by perpetrators, and individuals fleeing harm due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information, please see the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s statement here.
Please contact your local representatives and ask them to VOTE NO.