16 May 2012

Cultivating Fear in America: Human Rights Watch

Grace Meng and fellow researchers at Human Rights Watch have published a report detailing the widespread abuse of immigrant women in the farming industry. The jobs themselves entail enduring harsh physical conditions and just down right tough work. For women the report details the additional stress of rampant threats, and fear mongering, and outright physical abuse, sexual harassment and rape.

The report also indicates that many of the women never report the crimes for fear of reprisal, deportation, and lack of support.

The report concludes with detailed actions we can take to help.  Recommended actions include encouraging Congress to pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill (S. 1925) or similar legislation that strengthens the U-visa and other protections for immigrant victims of sexual violence, including farm-worker women and girls.

Ron Johnson voted against this legislation.

The bill passed the House rather sheepishly with bitter partisan division and only after impassioned testimony by representatives like Gwen Moore.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D) of Wisconsin recounts her own history of
being sexually assaulted as a child, then raped as a young woman,
at a press conference on Capitol Hill to push for an unrestricted
reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on May 16.
Find this invaluable and disturbing report about female immigrant farmhands here.

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