Deportation Fears Keep Domestic Violence Victims Quiet
CHARLOTTE, NC- From language to legal issues, Hispanic domestic violence victims in our area are facing major barriers.
Advocates say there are more Latinos at risk of abuse everyday, with a lack of ways to help.
Rosa Rivero helps Hispanic victims of domestic violence at the Shelter For Battered Women. She saw one Monday.
"She had been sexually assaulted by a man that was renting a room in her house. Because he told her that he would call immigration services and have her deported, she did not call the authorities... and neither did her husband because they were so scared they would be deported," said River, bilingual shelter advocate.
Rivero says more women are turning to united family services because they're too afraid to turn to cops.
So, the fear is they don't know the legal system in the United States. So, if I call the police, it's very likely that they are not going to help me because they are corrupt," said Rivero.
Another major barrier to Hispanics getting help with domestic violence or any other crime is not speaking English. United Family Services does offer victim assistance. It's a bilingual service that helps someone through the legal process if possible and gain protective orders.
Currently, less than five percent of CMPD officers speak Spanish.
"We hope that there will be more bilingual officers in CMPD to be able to help these ladies," said Rivero.
Jesus Ministries executive director Maudia Melendez says the real problem lies with immigration talks in Washington.
"They take these people and alienate them from the rest of the community. They are less than. And as long as we keep doing that, terrible things are going to happen,” said Melendez.
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