My own home scares me.

By Abha
CCADV Blogger

Homelessness continues to be a cause of increasing concern among women who experience domestic violence. It is said that, “92% of homeless mothers were victims of sexual assault.” There have been horrifying stories of women being forced to flee their houses in fear of being hit or abused. The story worsens with certain sections of immigrant women who face abuse. Many a times, it so happens that they are forced to stay within the confines of a “so called house.” When asked on what pretext did they need to do so? The answer is very simple, “Where do we go?” “What do we eat?” The situation worsens if there is a child. Imagine a woman having to struggle in a foreign land with absolutely no resources and very minimal language skills. How is she expected to come out of a situation with a child involved?

My heart aches to write this, it is unfortunate but true. Several immigrant women leave their home country and come to a foreign land only expecting some happiness. In return, they get abused and false promises of not being hit again. Many immigrant cultures attribute superiority to males and condone any form of abuse that is embarked upon women by these “superior males.” On being asked, several women react to the abuse that they face and say, “ Maybe he is exhausted after work, he promised he will not hit me again. “

Obviously, such women who are sometimes even called perpetrators of violence are helpless. The least one can ask for is a house to live in peacefully, clothes to wear and food to eat. No one deserves to be abused and asked to flee from their houses.  The legality of the status that immigrant women are makes it even trickier for them to escape such heinous relationships. Even if they continue to live in the house, it is a not a home. It is not a place for them to find any happiness or comfort. Even though for the world such women are said to have houses, they are actually living in situations worse than a prison. Although, there exist domestic violence hotlines for such victims it is difficult for them to contact anyone for help due to immense dependence on the husband.  Facing abuse and disrespect has become a way of life for many women and in many homes. No one deserves to be penalized just because they have married a man who resides in a foreign country. This is no crime. Living like a prisoner in their own home is equivalent to not having a house at all.

I urge you to spread the word and prevent the victimization of such women. Let home be the place for such women to go back to and not a place for them to run from. Let this be the place for them to feel safe and happy!