Tuesday, February 01, 2005

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Newsweek and Battered Immigrant Women

Battered Immigrant Women
Newsweek covers the issue of internet brides and domestic violence. They go into some length about how Nataliya Derkach sued the matching making company and her ex-husband and won. I am always glad to see a woman stand up for herself against an abusive man.

This article is troublesome though, it seems that the batterer was originally charged with attempted murder and the charges were reduced simple assault and then expunged when he completed an anger management course. All to frequently in cases of domestic violence, in every state, charges are reduced for numerous reasons. Sometimes with good cause, but in this case there was clearly a cooperative victim, what was the state of Virgina's reasoning here. What is so troubling is they expunged a batterer's record. In many states those prior convictions for domestic assault allow a prosecutor's office to enhance the next assault charge, or the third assault charge up to a felony. In expunging the record of a batterer the state of Virginia is taking that tool away from prosecutors and putting another woman at greater risk.

Also, the article mentions that there are legal options for battered woman, who are immigrants; yet it does not explain what these options are at all. The article doesn't mention that women who are here as mail order brides are eligible for U Visas through INS, as long as they cooperate with law enforcement. The article never mentions that in many states there are programs set up just to help women obtain these visas. It never mentions that law enforcement is prohibited from reporting a crime victims immigration status.

All frosting and no cake. Here is a not fancy link because well I haven't figured out how to do those pretty links yet.