Domestic violence is one of the biggest dark spots on the face of humanity. On one hand, we talk about equality irrespective of caste, creed, colour and sex but, on the other hand, we perform such outrageous crimes. A person who enacts domestic violence is ruthless but a person who tolerates it- is culprit too. Domestic violence against immigrants and refugees is a common issue since ages.
Do you know what domestic violence is?
Not a joke for sure. When one person harms another person- physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually such situations is termed as domestic violence. Domestic violence can happen anywhere but most of the times it remains hidden. Domestic violence gets worse with time and if you don’t stand up against it will worsen even more.
Please note: We don’t intend to instigate anyone but- you must be aware of your rights.
When can a person fall, a victim of domestic violence?
Domestic violence against immigrants and refugees is increasing day by day. Major causes of domestic violence happen because of
1. If you don’t know about Canadian laws and women rights.
2. Staying isolated from other people of your community.
3. If you are incapable of speaking fluent English or French.
4. If you have fear of losing the job, children or fear of bringing shame to your family.
5. If you are not aware of the social service agencies that can help you.
6. Most importantly- if you have a fear of losing your immigrant status.
Will domestic violence affect my immigration status?
If you are a permanent resident you won’t lose the immigration status for complaining against domestic violence or leaving an abusive relationship.
- If you were sponsored and a permanent resident:
A sponsored permanent resident will not lose his status as a PR is he leaves his spouse or reports against a violent relationship.
- If you are not a permanent resident:
Not being a permanent resident may lead to some problems. For example, if you are a refugee claimant live in caregiver you will face more difficulties. Don’t worry you still, have the option to apply for the PR. You can apply on the Humanitarian & Compassionate basis (H & C). If you face domestic violence during any time you should consult a lawyer or a community legal clinic (1) for advice.
Will I lose my children if I report against domestic abuse?
One of the biggest fear due to which people don’t stand against “Domestic violence against immigrants and refugees” is that they fear to lose their children. If you are in an abusive marriage and you want to leave your partner you will not lose the custody of your children.
What should I do when I face domestic violence?
If you are in danger- you should immediately leave the place and take your children along. You can go to a shelter as it is free of cost and its staff will give you information about services available in your community.
Call the cops- It will be smart of you to call 911 or the cops. Officers will transport you (& children) to a safer place. They may arrest the culprit if they believe a crime has been committed. You should ask them for the report number and a report copy too.
What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
Don’t go to an immigration office without a layer or without consulting one. Your conversation with the attorney will remain confidential and he cannot report you to immigration. If you cannot afford a lawyer you should contact the nearest legal services office or the immigration legal services organisation.
Domestic violence against immigrants and refugees should end as soon as possible. Try to be aware and strong.