Every year, EBSC provides direct legal support to 325+ women fleeing gender-based violence and serves hundreds more through our community programs. EBSC helps survivors receive asylum so they can start to rebuild their lives.
The vast majority of EBSC’s female clients (adults and children) have suffered from sexual violence. Many of our LGBT and male clients have also experienced sexual abuse.
What is Gender-based Violence (GBV) in an asylum context?
Immigrant women and girls are vulnerable to exploitation in their home countries, while entering the U.S., while working, and even within their homes. GBV is one of the major reasons that women and girls seek political asylum. This may be due to gender-discriminatory laws in their home country or from culturally accepted forms of violence against women such as domestic abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM), or honor killings.
Being approved for asylum means a woman can stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, thereby providing an escape from her persecutors.
For immigrant women in the U.S., women may be financially dependent and vulnerable to threat of deportation. Women may not report abuse to the police for fear they will be deported and separated from their families. If deported, they are more likely to be killed by their abuser.
What types of GBV trauma have EBSC clients experienced?
Women and unaccompanied minor girls who seek legal and social support at EBSC have survived rape, sexual slavery, sex trafficking, forced marriage, attempted honor killings, female genital mutilation, violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, forced pregnancy, forced abortion or sterilization, and/or other forms of sexual violence as underlying acts of both crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Gendered persecution and genocide have happened in a number of armed conflicts, including Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, and others.
How does EBSC help?
EBSC helps women attain legal status and partners with community groups such as the Wright Institute and Partnerships for Trauma Recovery to provide culturally appropriate counseling for survivors. EBSC staff and volunteers are multilingual and have many years of experience working with asylum and trauma. With compassionate support, survivors are able to start rebuilding their lives. Our CDE program provides English and citizenship classes and leadership training for over 100 women annually.
- Overview of Gender-Based Violence
- Op-Ed: We must condemn ruling upending asylum protections for survivors of domestic abuse
- EBSC urges Berkeley City Council to Pass Resolution in Support of GBV Asylum