Immigration law amendments another barrier for abused women

In a recent Rabble.ca article, “Domestic violence cases spike after immigration law amendment“, Ferrukh Faruqui writes, “women are most subject to violence in the refuge of their homes. Newcomers are not immune to this cross cultural pandemic.”

Since 2012, changes to the Immigration and Refugee Act require sponsored spouses to live with their partners for at least two years in order to gain permanent residency. This makes women in abusive relationships extremely vulnerable, particularly when children are involved.

Faruqui reports that, “While data has yet to be collated, IWSO [Immigrant Women Services Ottawa] staff and child protection services report a spike in new cases since the law took effect.”

Faruqui points out that when a woman leaves her sponsor due to abuse, “the onus is on victim to prove her case” or she will be deported.

Are you experiencing abuse at the hands your of sponsoring spouse? Are you a service provider who is seeing an increase in abuse cases among immigrant women in your community? If so, the following resources on our site may of use.

As Faruqui notes, language is another barrier for many newcomer women as they navigate the legal system. Ontario’s Language Interpreter Services offers specialized interpretation services for service providers who are working with abused women, in many cases for free.

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