Advocates To Address Domestic Violence In Immigrant Communities

Oct 18, 2019

The discussion is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Nashua Public Library.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A group of advocates will address the issue of domestic violence in immigrant communities this weekend.

The event Saturday was spurred by incidents in the Brazilian community in New Hampshire and neighboring states, including several women killed by their partners.

Hannah Krispin is an immigration attorney based in Massachusetts. She says immigrants fear that if they report an incident they will be reported to immigration authorities. 

She says that's not true for Nashua or other nearby towns.

"If you call 911, people need to be aware they're not going to call immigration or ICE to come pick you up because you were the victim of a crime," she said.

Nashua Deputy Chief Jim Testaverde echoes this.  

“It is more important to us that a victim or witness be comfortable to speak to us and report it and work with the system than be more concerned about their immigration status,” he said.

Krispin adds that in some situations, abusers use their partner’s immigration status to intimidate them “saying, ’if you report me, I’m going to call immigration. They’re coming to pick you up, and you’re going to be deported.’”

Other panelists include a criminal attorney, a representative from the Brazilian consulate and a domestic violence detective from the Nashua Police Department.

The discussion starts at 3 p.m. in the Nashua Public Library.