Domestic Violence Cases: Immigrants More Likely to Be Victims
Monday, September 15, 2008 12:00 PM

On 12 September, 2008, The Boston Globe published an article revealing that domestic violence within the immigrant community is startlingly high.  Maria Sacchetti, the author of the article, notes that in Massachusetts, " [i]mmigrants make up an estimated 14 percent of the state's population, but accounted for 26 percent of the 180 domestic violence deaths” that took place from 1997 to 2006. The article underscored the vulnerable status of undocumented immigrant groups.  In situations of domestic violence, immigrants are often unwilling to report the crime or seek treatment of injuries because they fear deportation.  The article reports that Federal immigration officials avoid deporting immigrants who have experienced and reported domestic violence cases.  However, the fear of deportation remains strong in most immigrant communities. Victims of domestic violence may also feel trapped by economic circumstances, such as their responsibility to provide for relatives in their home country. 

The Boston Globe article notes that States are trying to increase advocacy programs, but struggle with adequate financing.  According to the article, Massachusetts has less than 400 beds that can be used for victims of domestic abuse.  Immigrants who may seek help are often in need of a translator, but resources for translating services are limited.  The frequency of domestic violence within immigrant communities coupled with barriers to service expose a troubling situation in the United States.

To read full article, click here

Compiled from: Maria Sacchetti, “Troubling Link in Domestic Violence Cases”, The Boston Globe, 12 September, 2008.