Immigrant Women, Violence and the Legal System

The legal systems accessed by immigrant women who are dealing with violence in their intimate relationships are based on colonial male perspectives and are excessively intimidating and largely inaccessible to immigrant women.  The legal resources and legal assistance that have been developed to make the legal systems more accessible are also based in a majority view of the world and are, in general, inaccessible to immigrant women.  Women are forced to self-represent in various legal arenas, additionally women who have the benefit of legal representation are interfacing with lawyers who do not have the resources to adequately explain the processes and options in terms of the legal issues as well as the cultural/ethnic and language implications.

Lawyers, front-line workers and legal advocates play a key role in assuring successful interventions, addressing the needs of battered Immigrant women and bringing the abusers to justice. In recognition of the importance of our shared social and professional responsibilities, we have prepared toolkits and other resources is intended to further strengthen the collaboration between lawyers, legal advocates and front-line workers towards ending violence against women in our community.

“Women are never just women, but have multiple cross-cutting identities revolving around race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, ability, [religion] and citizenship status.”

Alexandra Dobrowsky
“Immigrant women, Equality and Diversity in Canada”

Legal Resources and Toolkits

Toolkit for Lawyers – Best Practices for Working with Battered Immigrant Women

Toolkit for Women -How to Work with a Lawyer

Lawyer Responses the Empower Immigrant Women who have Experienced Violence



Log onto BWSS Battered Women’s Support Services or The Violence Stops Here through Facebook, read our Ending Violence Blog, and follow Ending Violence on Twitter for tips and tools for action.  Then share liberally to start the conversation and take the conversation further than you ever have before.

Use your POWER to make your action count!