The Obama Administration has taken a step forward for international women’s rights by announcing that domestic violence victims from other countries would be granted asylum in the United States. The qualifications for being granted asylum are:
In addition to meeting other strict conditions for asylum, abused women will need to show that they are treated by their abuser as subordinates and little better than property…and that domestic abuse is widely tolerated in their country. They must show that they could not find protection from institutions at home or by moving to another place within their own country.
The decision was made in an appeals court filing in a case involving a domestic abuse victim who came to the U.S. from Mexico. Her abuser, fourteen years older than her, began his abuse when she was his student, then forced her to live with him where she was repeatedly raped at gunpoint and barely escaped being burned alive.
We are encouraged by this move and hope that someday the U.S. will be known around the world as a country that protects women from abuse. It also brings hope that this ruling will increase support within this country to protect women being abused, and so they can feel safe in this country as well.