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Three Things You Should Know … Domestic Violence

Nearly 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. Here are three things you should know.

1. Both women, men and children can be domestic violence victims.

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have faced severe physical violence. Approximately 1 in 4 children have experienced abuse/neglect and 1 in 3 adolescent girls have been a victim of physical and verbal abuse from a dating partner at some point in their lives. In the U.S., 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, which equates to 10 million women and men each year.

2. Immigrant victims face compounding barriers.

Abusive partners exert power over victims due to immigration status – These include preventing the victim from learning English or communicating with friends and family from home countries; threatening with deportation, withdrawal of petition for citizenship/residency or separation from their children, and/or economically abusing the victim by getting them fired. Accordingly, immigrant women are less likely to seek help out of fear of facing legal consequences if their immigrant status is disclosed.

3. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

VAWA is a landmark legislation which brought criminal justice, social services and nonprofit organizations together, creating a community-coordinated response to violence for the first time in the U.S. history. VAWA has been fostering protections for battered immigrant women and children, supporting the efforts of domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers nationwide. The legislation was amended and reauthorized with new provisions three times, in 2000, 2005, and 2013, and currently it is up for reauthorization since April 2020.

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