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Additional Safety Concerns for an Immigrant Survivor of Domestic Violence

Additional Safety Concerns for an Immigrant Survivor of Domestic Violence

(in addition to DV 101 section)

Establish a code word for safety. Practice with your children and close family about your code word that tells them you need help or you need them to call the police for them.

Safety plan with an advocate. Before you strategize to leave, talk with an advocate, preferably with someone that speaks your language or has a similar cultural background. Not all domestic violence agencies have the capacity to speak your language, but they might be able to assist you in getting the information you need to remain safe.

If you do call the police, you have the right to ask to speak to a domestic violence advocate. Oftentimes, many immigrant survivors don’t believe they have any rights in this country because of their status. When it comes to your safety, you have the right to speak to an advocate who may be a support person to help guide you through the process. You may also ask for an advocate that can speak your language if possible.

Build your case by documenting facts. It is in your best interest to document any threats made to you and your children or document any incidents that might have happened. Your documentation may be stronger than a police report because you are showing the history of abuse you have endured.

Keep personal files and documents in a safe place. Your immigration papers and ID card, and green card, including birth certificate, marriage certificate and pictures, etc., should be kept in a safe place or made copies of and kept with someone whom you trust. This also includes keeping a bag with extra clothes for you and the kids when you plan to actually leave. You may leave this in your car or with a trusted friend.


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