My thoughts on representing asylum seekers fleeing domestic violence and reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent ruling that victims of domestic violence and other persecution by private actors “generally” do not qualify for asylum. Originally published on The Advocates’ Post.
Some years ago, before the United States recognized that domestic violence was grounds for asylum, I represented a woman who was seeking asylum due to years of brutal violence inflicted upon her by her husband and the failure of her government to protect her.
“Ann” was a successful business person from East Africa who had experienced sexual, physical, psychological and emotional violence so extreme that she went to the police for help. Their response?
“Sorry, but this is a family matter – not a police matter. You have children. Go home and work it out with your husband. It will be better for all of you.”
So she went home. Her husband beat her until she passed out from the pain and blood loss as punishment for going to the police.
Because her business was so successful, she had the chance to expand the business to a neighboring country. She took…
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