Women and Health
- Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, more common than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Not all abuse is physical, either; it can be verbal or mental, and take the form of threats, isolation, or forced sex. Domestic violence often occurs in a pattern, as well–a woman who experienced one instance of domestic violence is twice as likely to be a victim again over a two-year period. One in four Latina women report having been abused in their lifetime. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police–in a joint study by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, it was estimated that only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rates, and one-half of all stalkings perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.
Migrant Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Prevention Program was developed to assist victims of crimes with issues that include personal protection orders, divorce, custody issues, immigration, and obtaining a green card.
The program helps families and children overcome violent environments and helps survivors of violence to live independently of their abuser, adjust their immigration status, and earn a living for their subsistence. For the children in these families, this means their custodial parent can establish permanent job, home and roots in Michigan.
It is very important for the victims to know that they must report these crimes and cooperate with the police in order to be eligible for the fullest protection provided by law; however, it is not necessary to provide information regarding immigration status.