Attorney General Decision Further Jeopardizes the Lives of Domestic Violence Victims

Contact:
Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator, Media Contact
lwang@kcsdv.org
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335 | Mobile: 785-633-6648
https://www.kcsdv.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Attorney General Decision Further Jeopardizes the Lives of Domestic Violence Victims
By the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
and the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV)

“I hope individual immigration judges will use their own discretion to take these factors into account, and provide humanitarian relief to these survivors and their children.”
–NNEDV President and CEO, Kim Gandy

Full National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Statement:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ruling [on June 11, 2018] in Matter of A-B- is deeply disappointing, and will create even greater barriers for victims of domestic violence who are seeking asylum in the United States because their home countries were unable or unwilling to protect them.

After deciding to personally intervene in the case, Sessions overruled the precedent set in a 2012 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in Matter of A-R-C-G, which has been cited in numerous asylum cases of women who survived domestic violence. The Attorney General has now put at risk the lives and futures of victims fleeing for their lives.

“This heartbreaking decision further jeopardizes already vulnerable victims of horrific domestic violence who have nowhere else to turn,” said NNEDV President and CEO, Kim Gandy. “I hope individual immigration judges will use their own discretion to take these factors into account, and provide humanitarian relief to these survivors and their children.”

“Asylum in the United States is, for many victims of domestic violence, literally lifesaving. Those affected by today’s decision have already faced extreme violence, and this decision will send them back to horrific abuse, or even death. In some countries, abusers are injuring and maiming their victims with impunity, and asylum seekers have nowhere else to turn,” continued Gandy.

While this ruling does not definitively prevent all domestic violence survivors from seeking asylum, the increased barriers [created by the ruling] may be insurmountable for the most vulnerable victims, many whom have access to [or funding to hire] an attorney.

In April, NNEDV joined an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff, which was filed by Tahirih Justice Center, the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Asista Immigration Assistance, and Casa de Esperanza, urging the Attorney General to uphold the BIA’s order in her case, and to uphold the 2012 precedent.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive and coercive behavior used to gain dominance, power, and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence includes the use of illegal and legal behaviors and tactics that undermine the victim’s sense of self, free will, and safety. This behavior can impact other family members and can be used in other family relationships. Find more information about domestic and sexual violence on KCSDV’s website at https://www.kcsdv.org/learn-more/domestic-violence.html

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The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) is Kansas’ leading voice for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. KCSDV trains professionals, works on policies and legislation, and increases awareness to prevent and eliminate sexual and domestic violence. KCSDV is a nonprofit organization in Topeka, Kansas and was founded on June 22, 1982. KCSDV is also a coalition made up of KCSDV and 27 independent, coalition member programs located across the state. Visit KCSDV’s website at https://www.kcsdv.org.

The 24-hour, seven days a week Kansas Crisis Hotline is 888-363-2287.

Media Contact

Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator
lwang@kcsdv.org
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335
Mobile: 785-633-6648

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KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287