ABClatino Magazine Year 2 issue 10 | Page 13

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Domestic Abuse in Latinx/Immigrant Communities

By Valerie Lenis

Women’s Support Services

Worldwide, 1 in 3 Latinas have experienced domestic abuse, but 60% of them do not report it (Casa de Esperanza). Though domestic violence exists in all racial/ethnic groups, Latinx and immigrant victims face a more difficult time managing abusive relationships because of concerns including: immigration status, language barriers, and family/social backlash.

This lack of knowledge about their legal rights and protections might prevent an immigrant from seeking help. Abusive partners can use the victim’s immigration status as a source of control by threatening deportation and/or separation from their children, and causing a loss of economic opportunity. Furthermore, the belief that protections in U.S. legal system do not apply to them creates more fear for immigrant victims involved in abusive relationships.

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