Yes, ALL immigrants in the U.S. do have the right to live life free from violence and abuse. Haven Hills has been honored to serve the community in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California for over forty years. We have become experts on the special challenges that immigrants to the U.S. face. We want our English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities to recognize that abusive partners have additional ways to exert power and control over their victims due to the victim’s immigration status. If you are an immigrant or refugee in an abusive relationship, you may face challenges that can make it feel difficult to reach out for help. Read the following checklist to find out if you are being manipulated because you are an immigrant:
Are you being isolated? Does your partner control what you do, who you see, who you talk to, where the money is spent? Make you feel bad, humiliated, and worthless? Is your intimate partner preventing you from learning English or communicating with friends, family or the many other people from your home country living right here in Southern California?
Does your partner threaten you with deportation? Is your intimate partner trying to control you by threatening to withdraw your application for legal status?
Has your partner taken possession of important documents that are rightfully yours? Has your abusive partner taken, hidden or destroyed legal documents or papers you need in this country such as passports, resident cards, health insurance or driver’s licenses?
Is your partner manipulating your path to U.S. citizenship or legal residency? Has your partner withdrawn or failed to file papers for your residency? Has your partner lied to you by threatening that you will lose your citizenship or residency if you report the physical or sexual violence to the police? Does your partner tell you that it is your fault he hurts you and says “if only you wouldn’t make him act this way,” he wouldn’t have to withdraw your immigration papers?
Has your partner caused you to lose employment? Has your intimate partner tried to get you fired from your job by calling your employers and reporting that you are undocumented? Does your partner manipulate you by threatening to call your workplace?
Does your partner threaten your children? Has your partner hurt your children? Does your partner threaten to take them away if the police are contacted? Or if you do not do everything your partner demands?
Always remember: Domestic violence is against the law regardless of your immigration status. You can call us for help if you are undocumented. The Haven Hills 24/7 Crisis Line will give you truthful answers about your situation. Resources for domestic violence victims and their children, regardless of immigrant status, are at the heart of how we help. Counseling is available in both English and Spanish.