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CHALLENGING SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE AGAINST IMMIGRANT WOMEN PART II This project is supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K009 awarded by the United.

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Presentation on theme: "CHALLENGING SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE AGAINST IMMIGRANT WOMEN PART II This project is supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K009 awarded by the United."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHALLENGING SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE AGAINST IMMIGRANT WOMEN PART II This project is supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K009 awarded by the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The opinions, findings, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

2 GOALS 1- Clarification on myths and realities 2- Dynamics of SV in the workplace 3- Safety planning 4- Outreach efforts with a focus on prevention 5- Screening for immigration remedies

3 Research validates that sexual violence against immigrant communities is of key concern

4 News of sexual harassment (including rape) against immigrant women sheds light on severity of the issue

5 Advocates can help through collaborations and cross-cultural skill-building

6 What do we know about vulnerability to sexual assault? – Lack of access to protection by legal or other systems of accountability – Language/communication differences – Economic instability/poverty, creating lack of ability to change housing or job – Dependency on individual/system with power to create abuse – Physical vulnerability ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

7 Vulnerability and added challenges Immigrant women face gender-based discrimination and other forms of “otherness” which can further disadvantage or make them vulnerable: ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

8 A single incident of SV can destabilize…. Housing Employment Education Privacy Immigration medical and mental health Financial stability physical safety MENTAL HEALTH PTSD, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, memory impairment, increased drug and alcohol use, avoidance of sexual assault-related places and objects, rejection by peers, colleagues, and family, and suicidal ideation and self-destructive behavior ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

9 In general vs Immigrant survivor Urgent needs: physical safety, emotional well-being, economic security, educational stability Urgent needs: Sense of economic threat Safety: Immigration retaliation Physical safety Emotional well-being ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

10 What women are telling us… ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad Economic Abuse Psysical abuse Sexual violence Psychological abuse Immigration abuse NO UNIVERSAL VICTIM

11 Type of abuse/exploitation: PHYSICAL Rape Sexual assault Sexual Harassment Retaliation Sex Trafficking Stalking Domestic Violence Pregnancies/ Ownership Pornography OTHER Threats with physical harm Voyeurism Hostility Intimidation, Verbal abuse Black listing Family Members as targets Recruitment under false pretenses-Fraud Recruitment Heterosexual, Homosexual sex Secondary trauma by other workers who are not target Use of legal systems to control

12 Lack of complaints– Why? Cultural Barriers Language Barriers Lack of Education & Rights Awareness Shame/Embarrassment Over Traumatic Event Fear of Retaliation Poverty, no other job Lack of mobility- isolation Fear of Court & Gov’t

13 Challenges Specific to Immigrant Survivors Living in Rural Areas Lack of infrastructure No comprehensive services – Lack of cultural consideration in provision of services – One advocate for several counties – Non-compliance with LEP Rural area; physical limitations: – Small community- none or little confidentiality – Workplace may be “the only one” in miles – Lack of transportation Immigration issues: – The employer may “be in on it” ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

14 Challenges- cont. INTERNAL  Cultural stigma  Lack of support system  SA dynamics education  Immigration status  Isolation

15 Challenges-cont. EXTERNAL/SYSTEMATIC  Language access,  Traditional service model inaccessible,  Health care,  Lack of information on assistance & rights,  Transportation,  System lack information,  Anti immigration  Prejudice,  Lack of coordination systems,  Lack of investigations/prosecutions, Cap of damages

16 Intersectional Discrimination  Immigrant status – foreigner, guest worker, undocumented worker, etc.  National origin, religion, race, age, etc.  Socio-economic status – poverty, limited education, etc.  Traditional attitudes concerning women in society in general and in work  Limited English proficient – Almost half (46%) of all foreign-born workers in the U.S. are LEP. (Nearly 73% of LEP workers speak Spanish.)  Domestic violence at home Immigrant women face gender-based discrimination and other forms of “otherness” which can further disadvantage or make them vulnerable:

17 Additional challenges Domestic violence Border rape Rape at home country Poverty Limited education Attitudes towards women’s rights, reproductive health etc Guest Undocumented Immigrant status Age Race Religion Continuum of violence Socio economic status ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

18 What does this mean for our work? Populations who are vulnerable to sexual assault Employed in situations often “out of sight” of accountability systems Population increases often occurring in areas with few existing resources for those with LEP – Health care – Legal resources – Community support systems ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

19 VIOLENCE IS VIOLENCE Sexual violence in the workplace is violence – sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment Need for movement to address workplace – sexual assault by supervisors, co-workers DV: target abusers, criminal justice SH: target is company for $$ and changes ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

20 Violence & Control Perpetrator co-worker company company controls all conditions of work company policies and practices Perpetrator Intimate relation Controls inside of the household and outside Imposes rules to follow or else Sexual harassment/assault Domestic violence ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

21 Violence & Control Stay because job is lifeline for victim and family; retaliation against victim, family members, coworkers Immigrant workers, language, isolation remedy is $$$, termination of harasser, new company policies and practices Stay because… retaliation against victim, family members, coworkers Immigrant face challenges imposed by our systems remedy is civil or criminal SH/SADV ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

22 Parties Perpetrator may be – man or woman – of same sex – supervisor, agent of – employer, co-worker, third party Victim can be affected by the hostile work Environment ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

23 ASKING THE QUESTIONS “ No pass to harass” Review your materials Information= prevention ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

24 Safety planning

25 Starting the conversation

26 Relationship building

27 Definition of sexual violence

28 Person-centered safety planning: not a one-size-fits-all approach

29 Sexual assault-specific safety planning spans place and time

30 Safety planning must be grounded in realities if immigrant survivors

31 Examples from safety planning in immigrant communities in Indiana

32 Key questions to consider in safety planning with immigrant communities What are the community’s norms, beliefs, language, values, and expectations? How does sexual violence intersect with these constructs? How do people conceptualize “sexual violence” and gender norms? What beliefs surround victimization and perpetration and the help provided?

33 Outreach and prevention

34 To truly connect with immigrant communities, must understand the cultural context and roles of fear

35 Listen to the community. What is their priority? Start there.


37 Lideres Campesinas’ approach


39 Key questions to consider in outreach and prevention with immigrant communities What are the priorities in the community? What can you do to support the community in addressing these priorities? Who are the natural leaders in the community? How can you partner with these leaders and support their efforts? Who in your community is currently engaging immigrant survivors? What do your outreach efforts currently look like? Who are you reaching? Who are you missing? How can you strengthen your current efforts to reach communities that may be under-served?

40 Immigration Relief for survivors of specific crimes of violence Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self- Petition U Visa VAWA Cancellation of Removal Battered spouse waiver of joint petition requirement Gender-related asylum Special Immigrant Juvenile Status ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

41 Can she stay? VAWA OR BATTERED SPOUSE WAIVER What is your relationship to the assailant? What is your legal status in the United States? Do you know the legal status of the assailant? FAMILY RELATIVE PETITIONS & SIJS Do you have any family members that are Lawful Permanent Residents or United States citizens? How old are you? Where are your parents? U VISA Have you reported the crime to law enforcement? What anyone making advances at you at work? Bothering you? Asking you out? GENDER ASYLUM Were you ever hurt in your country of origin? ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

42 Can she stay-cont. T VISA Are you free to come and go from your place of residence/work? Where are your papers? (passport etc) Are you paid for your work on a consistent, regular basis? Do you get to keep your money or do you have give all or part of your money to someone else? Do you have friends and can you go to see them ? How did you come into the USA? Recruited? Do you owe money for the trip? Has your boss/friend forced you to have sex with him or with others? What happened when you cross the border? Where did you stay? Who brought you to this State? ASISTA- Sonia Parras Konrad

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