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Center for Family Solutions has program for abused campesinas

March 29, 2002

I was interested in the feature carried in your edition of March 10, "Options improve for immigrant women victimized by domestic abuse."

Battered immigrant women have unique concerns. Often their batterers terrorize them by threatening to take their children from them or to have them deported if they report the battering. Sometimes they destroy the victim's immigration papers as a demonstration of their control.

The victims, who as legal immigrants have every right to be in this country, do not yet have a good understanding of U.S. laws and so do not know that they have a right to not be beaten by their abusers. Often the victims come from nations where authorities are feared and/or are batterers themselves, and they have not yet developed a sense of trust for American authorities.

The Center for Family Solutions, together with our colleagues Campesinos Unidos and Catholic Charities, have a special program to assist farm worker women in the Imperial Valley who are victims of abuse at the hands of their partners; it is the Campesinas Project. All immigrant women who need assistance or advice are urged to contact us or one of our partner agencies for assistance.

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BARBARA SHAVER

Executive director

Center for Family Solutions

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