The
Policy Challenge

 

A
great number of people experience abuse without reporting it — many of them are
migrant women. Domestic violence is still a hidden problem for migrant women. With
no support of family nor finance, migrant women are isolated and forced to
suffer in silence.

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“One
woman said she accepted her situation because her husband sponsored her visa.”

“One
woman said she accepted her situation because she can not speak English.”

 

Right
now, statistical evidence pertaining to the number of immigrant women who
experience domestic violence in countries like the US, Australia, and New
Zealand are unavailable. Most of the women blame themselves, feel ashamed, and
are reluctant to share their experiences. Isolated by visa restrictions and
language barriers, these women are forced to endure violence too afraid to seek
help.

 

Outline
of Behavioural Intervention

 

A
confidential domestic violence registry should be established. It offers
protection for migrant women as men prone to domestic violence would have to
inform the authorities of their current address, making it much harder for them
to drop off the radar. It treats violence and its effects through therapy and
counselling.

 

To
encourage migrant women to speak out, it is a registry that aims to
rehabilitate, not shame. This registry is about giving women security. Giving
them the choice to rehabilitate their partners and ensure the safety of their
family. It will also extend the services to children if involved — as violent
households affect a child’s psychology, opening them up to trauma and bullying.

 

They
would have to tell authorities of status of their relationships through regular
check-ups with their spouses. Publicly-funded marriage counsellors, anger
management specialists, and local authorities would be available for their
service.

 

Evaluation

 

Insight
from this registry is invaluable. We need a better understanding of behaviour
from perprator, victim, and community.

There
are three main areas lacking attention to human behaviour caused by domestic
violence in migrant women:

            a.) Policy Decisions. Policymakers
are often ill-informed about domestic violence and immigration issues — for
example, treating evidence with bias. inconsistency in policy lead to
suboptimal environments for these women.

            b.) Safety Provisions. The
justice system is often designed to facilitate errors. Numerous cases of
domestic abuse could have been prevented if it were not for poor decision-making.

Some perpetrators roam freely without consequences.

            c.) Silence. Community
leaders need to reach out to isolated women. Some are still sceptical of the
scale of the problem. Awareness and responsibility is necessary to disband
silence.