United We Dream Pledges To Break The Silence!
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. People across the country are rising against all forms of domestic and intimate partner violence, breaking the silence on their first-hand experiences of survivorship. As United We Dream, we commit to pledging purple and all daily practices that come with it:we acknowledge, believe, and support the immigrant survivors in our network; we commit to breaking the cycles of violence in our communities; and we commit to rising against the cultures that perpetuate sexism, misogyny, transmisogyny, misogynoir and heteropatriarchy.
“As a domestic violence survivor, I remember every instance he used my immigration status against me. I remember him telling me he could call ICE agents on my friends for no reason other than because he thought he could. I remember him shaming me for being undocumented and even saying maybe if I ever adjusted my status, maybe then I would be worthy to be his wife. I remember him threatening to throw my belongings out the window, bragging about his power to turn the cops on me if I stood up to him, how calling the cops for my safety could lead to my very own deportation. And although I was part of the movement and knew my rights, I was very scared.
He made me believe that I was not worth loving and later I learned that that is one of the things that abusers do best — put you down and make you question your self worth. He made me question my humanity and my value as a human and as a woman. It makes my stomach turn whenever I read about or listen to Trump’s absurdity and his misogynistic insults towards women, immigrants and Muslims. it It is predators and abusers like him who tend to be pathological liars and pretend their behavior is completely normal or try to tell you it never happened.
And we see that same sickness, hatred and disregard to humanity in employers who exploit our immigrant community, who think that because they are in power they can take advantage of our labor and throw us away as if we are disposable.
It is because of my resilience, the courage and longing for love, dignity and respect that I fight for immigrant rights. I am here to stay, I will not be silenced and I will call out Trump and any other abuser or predator.” — Julieta Garibay
While conversations about domestic and intimate partner violence have increased over the years, it is also true that undocumented and immigrant survivors face additional barriers in seeking and obtaining safety. Language and cultural barriers, along with fear of law enforcement, have prevented many survivors in our communities from finding the support and services they need to escape abusive relationships.
As United We Dream, we are saying no more. The stories and struggles of immigrant survivors will not be swept under the rug.
“My mom is a survivor of domestic violence. Growing up, I witnessed my father physically, verbally, and emotionally abuse my mom. My parents told my brother and me to be quiet or the police would take them both away. To me, my mom, and my brother even home was not a safe space for us. At times I wonder how if we could have escaped that reality earlier had a family friend or a neighbor who heard the screams stepped in.
Many people that I have met through the immigrant rights movement have shared these same experiences and like me, were not able to do anything in fear of the consequences our undocumented status might bring. We must begin the conversation about what it means to be caught in an abusive relationship,the different forms of domestic violence and how to be supportive allies to each other. Together we can work towards creating safer spaces for survivors to find community and empower them to have the choice to leave.” — David Chung
We send a message of love and support to all the immigrant survivors in our network and in our communities: we see you, we hear you, we love you. We want to center this month on communal conversations on domestic and intimate partner violence. And at the same time, as United We Dream, we must challenge our network to take proactive steps towards learning about and uniting against the patriarchal violence and rape culture that manifest as sexist and misogynistic behaviors we encounter in our everyday lives. This is why we will call out misogyny in the presidential elections, in policies that hurt immigrant survivors, in our circles of friends or family in the erasure of undocumented and immigrant survivors and call in those seeking to unlearn their toxic behaviors.
“Being a survivor of sexual violence myself, and having grown up in a household where domestic violence was rampant, I am proud to be a part of a network that believes it is our duty to believe survivors and to unite against all forms of domestic and intimate partner violence, not only this month, but every day wherever it shows up in society. We owe it to all the survivors and victims of patriarchal violence to do our part in raising awareness, breaking the silence and ending a culture of violence that blames and shames survivors” — Karen GuzmXn
YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME.
GOING THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN WHETHER YOU DO OR DO NOT SEEK SUPPORT.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN HOW YOU SEEK SUPPORT.
YOU CAN AND WILL LEAD A HEALTHY LIFE.
Join UWD and the thousands of other people across the nation, who are pledging purple. It’s time to end the excuses, the abuses, and the violence.
Find resources for survivors below:
- Dial 911 if you are facing a life threatening emergency
- How to Clear Your Internet Browser’s Search History & Cookies — a quick guide to erase your web search as you look for ways to support yourself or another survivor
- National Domestic Violence Hotline — reach trained advocates 24/7 to get the support you deserve. There are no fees, it’s anonymous and they’re here to help. — 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) — For deaf & hard of hearing: 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
- Domestic Shelters — find domestic violence help and shelters near you, just enter your zip code.
BLOG for friends, family & loved ones supporting survivors:
- B — Believe them. Let them know you understand this may be hard to discuss, and you are glad they trusted you.
- L — Listen
- O — Offer options and resources. Offer support without pushing one option over another
- G — Get support for yourself. These conversations are heavy, so make sure each of you takes care of your mind, body and spirit.
- Ask the survivor if they feel safe before ending the conversation.
- Things to avoid:
- Don’t tell a survivor that you know how they feel.
- Don’t tell a survivor what they must or should do.
- Don’t blame a survivor or cause them to feel guilt by saying things like, “Why didn’t you…”