Access, Inc. VAWA Legal Program empowers immigrant victims of domestic violence to break free from violent relationships. From October 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, we have represented 91 immigrant victims of domestic violence in San Diego County. Over the past six months, we have seen an alarming increase in domestic violence cases where the primary form of abuse is sexual torture and threats to shame the victim in the community. This is especially disturbing as many of these cases involve pregnant victims. Cases such as "Jasmine" who suffered for years before she received protection under VAWA:
"The one occasion where he hit me was when I was 7 months pregnant. He threw me out of our home and told me I was a whore and that my place was in the streets. That night I lost consciousness because I had fallen on the floor and I don't know what else happened until I was in bed and he was placing a cotton ball with alcohol under my nose. I regained consciousness and I told him that I couldn't breathe and asked him to help me. He told me the only thing I deserved was to die. I told him I was pregnant. He said that I was more of a value dead than alive to my child."
The truth is that many cases like "Jasmine" do not receive help while pregnant resulting in miscarriage or a high risk pregnancy. Victims simply cannot afford legal services to obtain relief under VAWA which costs an average of $1000 per person.
Last year, we were able to raise $5511 through the month long Purple Purse challenge allowing us to take on 5 cases pro bono. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 through the Purple Purse challenge to allow us to help 10 victims under the Violence Against Women Act pro bono.
Your minimum donation of $10 will help us achieve this goal to provide security and hope for victims who are otherwise trapped in an endless cycle of abuse.