April 30, 2017
There is a growing hesitance to report abuse among immigrant women suffering from violence at home and in their relationships. Multiple reports have shown that since the 2016 presidential election, there has been a sharp downturn in reports of sexual abuse among Latino women. Experts believe it is due to the increased threat of deportation.
From reports around the states comparing crime statistics this year to this time last year, the decrease is so sharp that experts say it’s not from an actual decrease in crime, but a decrease in people coming forward. The New York Times reports that “the number of Latinos reporting rapes in Houston has fallen by more than 40 percent this year” and in Los Angeles, “reports of domestic violence among Latinos have dropped by 10 percent and reports of sexual assault by 25 percent from a year ago.”
These statistics are very troubling to the domestic violence providers and legal aid organizations that help survivors of abuse. Katt Marr, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Orange County, says they’ve always assured their clients not to worry about reporting violence to the police, that they will be helped. But now, “everything we’ve ever told our clients is out the window,” she said. “It’s so demoralizing and so frightening to imagine what happens if it continues.”
Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Aid SoCal