Reporting on our work
Engaging Immigrant Women in the Legal System Project
BWSS’ Immigrant Women Engagement in the Legal System project objective is to seek full engagement with immigrant women from three ethnic/cultural/language groups (South Asian, Latin American, Afghani, Iranian – Farsi Speaking) who have experienced violence in their intimate relationships, who speak English as another language, who may be bi-sexual or lesbian, who are dealing with the legal system and who may have to self represent in court to review and analyze current legal issues through a women-centred, ethnic/cultural/language lens and to create and develop legal resources from that lens to increase the accessibility of the legal systems they are coming into contact with.
“Legal systems accessed by immigrant women who are dealing with violence in their relationships are based on colonial male perspectives, are excessively intimidating, and largely inaccessible”
Through our work at Battered Women’s Support Services we have learned that the legal systems accessed by immigrant women who are dealing with violence in their 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.
Community Worker Engagement Reports Prepared By Parminder Nizher and Daniela Escolar Project Coordinators – August 2008
A woman-centred approach to managing the spectrum of needs from settlement to empowerment manual- is one of them. Though not meant to be conclusive, it is written as an exploration of ideas, to present recurring issues and to critique existing practices.