The Barriers Latina's Face Surrounding Domestic Violence

Hispanic women who are victims of domestic abuse often go unnoticed because they are afraid, alone, and don't feel comfortable talking about their problems. These clients face unique problems. Many are undocumented, and it is important to know this to meet their needs so that we can help them.

One of the hardest things for undocumented Hispanic victims of domestic abuse is that they can't speak English. A lot of them come to the U.S. not knowing much or any English, making it very hard for them to get help or know their rights. This language barrier makes them even more vulnerable because it makes it hard to talk about their experiences and fears with authorities or support networks.

People who are undocumented are always afraid of being deported. Domestic violence abusers often use their victim's fear to keep them in line by saying they will report them to immigration officials. This fear not only keeps the victim from getting help,it also keeps the abuse ongoing.

Undocumented survivors often live in poverty and don't have access to a lot of resources. They might not know their legal rights, have trouble finding affordable housing, and have trouble finding work. Being dependent on their abusers for money can make them stay in violent relationships due to a lack of financial freedom to leave the abusive relationship.

Most undocumented Hispanic survivors come to the U.S. without anyone to help them. Because they're cut off from their families and cities, they don't have family members near or sometimes friends who could offer emotional support or help with childcare. Being alone makes them even more vulnerable and traps them in abusive situations.

To better support these groups of people, we need campaigns to raise awareness to help inform individuals, law enforcement, and service providers about the specific problems that undocumented survivors face. And that includes understanding how important it is to be sensitive to different cultures.

To ensure survivors can get help without the added struggle of language barriers or misconceptions regarding culture when organizations and agencies are making inclusive resources, they should be sure the bilingual services they offer are sensitive to different cultures.

Making programs that offer survivors funds and other resources to help them become independent and stable again can make them less reliant on their abusers.

Building strong community support networks for undocumented people can help them in both emotional and practical ways, and it can also help them feel less alone.

The road ahead is difficult for undocumented survivors, full of challenges and uncertainties that frequently go unnoticed by the public. We can do more to assist these people on their path toward recovery and resilience by drawing attention to these specific problems.

See below, the attached resources to better educate you on the rights of undocumented immigrants experiencing domestic violence.