BROOKLYN, New York. According to Mic, only 20% of all rapes, only 24% of acts of physical violence, and only 50% of stalking get reported to the police. In fact, on average, a woman will be assaulted 35 times before she first reports the crime. This gives an assaulter a great deal of time to escalate in violence. There are many reasons why women don’t report domestic violence. Fear, the cycle of abuse, manipulation, and control all play a role. However, according to CNBC, some women are not reporting domestic violence because they fear deportation.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, not only are immigrants failing to report these crimes, but some are choosing not to help police when they witness these crimes. Mistrust of police and fear of deportation could be leading to communities that are less safe. To make matters worse, some immigrants are fearful about testifying in court after hearing about court raids and ICE’s presence in courts.
82 percent of prosecutors claim that domestic violence charges have become harder to prosecute due to mistrust among the immigrant community. These numbers also affect prosecutors seeking justice for sexual assault victims and child abuse victims. For women in abusive relationships, having witnesses testify about the abuse they have endured can help them get a divorce settlement that protects their children and their assets. Women in immigrant communities may find it tougher to find support from their neighbors and relatives if these same neighbors and relatives fear immigration authorities.
In California, police are refusing to ask individuals about their immigration status. The Trump administration is suing, but police claim that by bringing in the question of status, police can damage their relationship with the community.
Immigrants in 2017 and 2018 have been less likely to make police reports, and many immigrants are fearful of going to court. Unfortunately, domestic violence is the kind of crime that can escalate over time. An unreported crime today can become tomorrow’s murder. As many as 13 women in Denver admitted that they would not pursue domestic violence charges after learning about ICE’s courthouse arrests.
While ICE claims to take into account a person’s reasons for being in court, there simply is no guarantee that a person will protected in today’s legal climate.
If you are considering getting divorced or want to make a report of domestic violence and are concerned about how your report might impact your immigration status, consider speaking to a qualified domestic violence lawyer in Brooklyn, New York like the Elliot Green Law Offices. New York offers a range of resources for domestic violence victims and their families. If you are an immigrant, the process of reporting a crime or going to court can be frightening, but a qualified lawyer can help you understand what rights and protections you might have under the law. Visit our firm at https://www.elliotgreenlaw.com/ to learn more. Seek help today.
Elliot Green Law Offices
32 Court Street, Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201