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How domestic violence impacts immigrants

California residents may know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The aim is to make people aware of the issue as well as help find ways to solve it. In recent years and decades, there have been steps both forward and backward when it comes to how domestic violence is perceived and dealt with. Those who work to help victims of abuse provide services in a way that revolves around the needs of the victim.

Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides greater resources for victims as well as prosecutors and law enforcement. This legislation was one of many laws passed that also offered protection for immigrants from immigration laws. Victims who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent might suffer from their limited ability to speak English or isolation from family members. These are problems that their abusers may exploit.

Other problems that immigrants may face are based in cultural and religious values. Up to 60 percent of women who are Asian or Pacific Islander claim to be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. While the VAWA was designed to help them and others come forward, the repeal of DACA as well as other immigration crackdowns could make it more likely that victims won't come forward.

Those who have been harmed by a partner may wish to file for a protective order. This can limit or stop an alleged abuser from contacting a victim. In many cases, a temporary restraining order can be issued until a hearing is set. An attorney could gather evidence that may help the victim increase the odds of getting a permanent protective order if one is needed.

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