July 3, 2020
Monthly Updates and Resources | Moments that Inspire
Happy July!

Even in these difficult times, we are lucky to have been witness to so many "silver lining" moments. This month, we applauded the Supreme Court's decision to uphold sexual orientation and gender identity as rights to be protected in the workplace. We were inspired by a generation of Asian American children who wrote heartfelt messages to their immigrant parents about why Black lives matter. We saw Pride reclaimed for the Black queer and trans leaders who built it. We were awed by a cross-sector collaboration to deliver hundreds of thousands of masks and anti-bacterial wipes to shelters. We listened to a survivor-led initiative to amplify the voices of sexual assault survivors in the fight to uproot systemic racism and inequity.

Yes, these glimpses of hope were punctuated by moments that reminded us that we are still far from a world where people of all races, identities, and backgrounds are safe. And yes, there is still a lot of work to be done. But we still believe that we will get there one day.

We hope that in this crazy time, wherever your activism draws you, you are staying well and taking care of yourself.
The Economic Impact of COVID-19

We participated in a partnership, lead by CSAJ, to learn about how the pandemic has affected domestic and sexual violence survivors and the advocates/survivor leaders serving them. The survey collected responses from a whopping 608 service providers across the U.S., and found that:

  • 60% of direct service providers from culturally-specific DV/SA agencies identified lost income, and 43% identified trouble accessing courts, as challenges facing survivors
  • 86% of direct service providers from legal or immigration services said survivors have trouble getting a stimulus check. A majority of these said that stimulus funds were going to an (ex)partner
  • Not being able to pay bills was the economic top challenge named by survey respondents, with 54% of service providers indicating that survivors were affected

Please reach out to us (info@api-gbv.org) or to the team at CSAJ (research@csaj.org) with questions, or for feedback on what the survey should include in its next round.
We applaud the decision to keep DACA in place!

On Thursday, June 18, the US Supreme Court announced a 5-4 ruling on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Court ruled that the Administration’s June 2017 memo rescinding of the DACA program was arbitrary and capricious. The ruling allows DACA to remain in place, continuing to provide temporary immigration relief to certain individuals who arrived in the US as children.

The ability to maintain this status provides survivors among the over 700,000 individuals the ability to continue to maintain employment authorization, and helps reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence, sexual assault and other exploitation.

Since the decision was announced, the Administration has stated it will likely try anew to end the program, but until then, the decision provides a much needed reprieve for many young people in limbo.

Further reading:
"Gender-based asylum" is under attack. Help us speak out against the proposed changes.

On June 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a  proposed rule  that would make sweeping and devastating changes to asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Under international and U.S. law, asylum is meant to provide a pathway to safety for survivors of life-threatening persecution due to their identity, when their own governments cannot or will not protect them. But the proposed changes would deny the vast majority of asylum-seekers - including survivors of gender-based violence - even the chance to make their case for protection, let alone to have a fair day in court.
The proposed asylum rule  specifically   bars from asylum protection those fleeing “gender-related” persecution,   including women fleeing rape, severe domestic violence, human trafficking, and other horrific gender-based violence. It would also prevent survivors who are applying for asylum and are in “expedited removal” proceedings from being able to seek protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). LGBTQI+ individuals and advocates pushing for equal rights who face persecution in their home countries may also face more challenges in securing protection. In addition, the rule allows for disclosure of information in an asylum application under a slew of new circumstances, potentially providing opportunities for abusers to obtain survivors’ information. These are just a few among many other deeply troubling policy shifts in the massive proposed rule. You can speak out!

For more information see these resources from the Alliance for Immigrant Survivors and submit your comment opposing the harmful proposal today ! Comments are due by 11:59 pm EDT on Wednesday, July 15
If you are interested in receiving regular policy-related updates on immigration protections for survivors and joining a national network of advocates dedicated to defending and advocating for policies that ensure immigrant survivors have access to life-saving protections, sign up for the Alliance for Immigrant Survivors listserv .
We are looking for a versatile team leader to join us as the Director of Programs as we embark on an exciting new organizational restructuring process and plan strategically for the future.

NNEDV's DV Counts survey day is 9/10/20!

World Refugee Day 2020: June 20, 2020

Almost 80 million people world wide are forcibly displaced, according to new UNHCR data. Download our factsheet on accessibility for refugee survivors to learn about barriers faced by refugee survivors of DV/SA, and suggested approaches to mitigating them.
News and Updates from the Field:

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence