Attorney General Jeff Sessions just overturned longstanding policies protecting domestic violence survivors who are seeking refuge and asylum in the U.S. While the news cycle may have moved on from this inhumane policy, we cannot move on while it continues to affect women every day.
Make no mistake: this change of policy will have fatal consequences for women and girls fleeing their home countries when all other options for safety have been exhausted. But it also jeopardizes decades of work from women’s rights movements to ensure that women are treated equally under the law, deserving of government protection. This decision could impact how violence against women is treated in all courts, potentially bringing the law back to a time when it was viewed as a “private” matter that didn’t require government intervention.
Your message to Attorney General Sessions:
Your recent directive to stop granting asylum to survivors of domestic violence will have fatal consequences for women, and I am writing to demand that you issue an immediate reversal.
If a woman faces threats of violence, her ability to take care of her family, to go to work, get an education, and control her own health—is fundamentally endangered. Your decision to deny asylum to abused women seeking asylum in the U.S. is an affront to the values on which our country was founded.
Please don’t close the door on women who have the right to live free of violence and are fighting to build a better life for themselves and their families.
“Gender based violence is atrocious. It denies women the basic affirmation of their humanity, it affects nations’ economies, it impacts the well-being of families, and most of all, violence kills women,” says Global Fund for Women CEO and President Musimbi Kanyoro. “To regress from a place where there are many courses of protection for domestic violence survivors, including seeking asylum, is simply to continue the dehumanization of women.”
“Women around the world have fought incredibly hard to ensure that domestic violence is treated as a crime and recognized as a violation of women’s human rights,” says Shruti Rana, IANGEL Board Member and professor of international law. “Sessions’ decision imperils these achievements, places an untold number of women’s lives at risk, and strikes a blow to women’s rights worldwide. It is an egregious attempt to turn the clock back on women’s rights that must be addressed.”
Global Fund for Women and the International Action Network for Gender Equity and Law (IANGEL) are joining together to tell Attorney General Sessions that we will not be silent. Stand with us TODAY by signing below to send a message to Attorney General Sessions and demand to keep our borders open to women and girls fleeing the horrors of domestic violence.