Tomorrow morning, we will awake to the swearing in of a new U.S. President and to a country deeply divided. The United States is facing historic levels of distrust, partisanship, and expressions of hate. People of all political opinions are deeply concerned about the direction in which society is going, and difficult conversations about important issues are taking place within families, religious communities, and schools. But, in this discomfort is an opportunity.
Earlier this week, we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He reminds us that “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”
With a commitment to non-partisanship and advocacy rooted in elevating the voices of courageous women and girls refusing violence, Tahirih is eager to lean forward, straighten our backs, and meet the challenges of the days ahead. Under the Trump Administration, as we have for 20 years during the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, we will continue to defend the rights of refugee and immigrant women and girls fleeing violence.
While the specific policy proposals of this administration have yet to unfold, we know that there is much at stake in the years ahead. Some of the policies being threatened could leave immigrant women and children fleeing violence without basic services and protections, rendering them prey to abuse and exploitation. Some of the most troubling promises include:
- Jailing refugee women and children fleeing violence until their cases are completed. This would lead to the re-traumatization of thousands of victims, and fail to fulfill our moral and international legal obligations.
- Discrimination against refugees on the basis of their religion. This would impact all refugees and immigrants, including women and children who desperately need protection from gender-based violence.
- Ending programs that encourage cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement. Without these programs, immigrant women and children will be too scared to call 911 and report abuse, leaving criminals on our streets.
- Increasing emphasis on deportations and raids, and the tripling of ICE agents. This will escalate a climate of fear and make it dangerously difficult for refugees and immigrants to access the protections to which they are entitled under the law.
- Threatening key funding for domestic violence prevention programs, rape kit processing, sexual assault prevention, emergency safe houses, and survivor hotlines. These programs are critical to protect citizen and immigrant women and children alike.
The Tahirih Justice Center is currently the only multi-city, national organization in the United States solely focused on providing both services to and advocacy on behalf of immigrant women and girls. With a distinct non-partisan reputation, nation-wide direct services, a well-respected policy team, and national expertise, we are well-positioned to meet the challenge. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support to ensure safety and justice for immigrant women and girls who have survived violence. Please visit tahirih.org to learn more about our clients’ stories, the progress that has been made since our founding 20 years ago, and how you can make a difference. And, please consider making a donation now.
With gratitude for your partnership,