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Violence in the Home is a Global Phenomenon

Immigrant & Refugee Power and Control Wheel

Bri Chomilo

Published: June 2002

Violence in the Home is a Global Phenomenon Immigrant & Refugee Power and Control Wheel

Throughout the world, women are victims of domestic violence just as there are battered women in the United States. Immigrant and refugee women know that In their countries of origin, women have been tortured with sexual abuse by the army/rebels, kidnapped into prostitution, forced into marriages, killed in honor killings, used for sexual slavery, stoned to death and often experience other gender related abuses. There is a male tendency in some parts of the world to devalue women and view them as property. This has lead to the creation of cruel practices against women including femicide, infanticide, rape, battery, torture, widow burning, veiling, foot-binding, witch-burning, chastity belts, cliteridectomies, and infibulations. These examples of violence are real threats that immigrant and refugee women face if forced to return home.

In addition to these threats, immigrant and refugee battered women in the U.S. have many difficulties accessing legal and social services in a country which is not their own. They face cultural differences and barriers which abusers may use to their advantage. Immigrant and refugee battered women are an underrepresented population because many of the incidents are undocumented. The women believe they have no rights, no way out, and no help.

Violence against women is the most basic example of gender discrimination and oppression. It is the most powerful tool of male domination and control all over the world.

Immigrant and Refugee Power and Control Wheel

Home Free 2002; Bri Chomilo.

Special thanks to Domestic Abuse Project, Minneapolis, MN and the attendees of the Immigrant & Refugee Women Support Group at Pilot City for their dialog and input into the Immigrant & Refugee Power & Control Wheel. Acknowledgement is given to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota for the design adaptation of the Power & Control Wheel.

For more information, contact Bri at 612.990.8748.