Combating Domestic Violence - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Combating Domestic Violence

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Throughout October, communities nationwide are observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Last year alone more than 40,000 cases were reported in Nevada. Tonight we take a look at a specific group that often goes unrecognized - immigrant women

The threat of deportation is used as a uniquely cruel way to keep victims quiet.

We met with a woman we will call “Maria” who moved to Reno to get away from her abusive husband two years ago. She explains some of what she endured for eight years. "He would hit me, throw things at me, he burned my hand." He also locked her in their house without access to food, a phone or transportation.

For years "Maria" was told by her husband that if she ever tried to report his abuse, she would be deported.

Xiomara Rodriguez is the director of "Tu Casa Latina" in Reno. "And they are terrified, and they hear the police coming and their hearts just pound so hard, because they know they are coming for them, even though the police is coming three houses down the street."

Tu Casa Latina is an organization that helps undocumented women who are victims of abuse or crime. Rodriguez explains how the abuser gets the upper hand - "She is here illegally, she doesn't speak the language, she doesn't understand the culture. They are prey of men - or women - who have total control over them."

“Maria” tears up as she recalls her experience, "It's very difficult to make the decision and you tell yourself, ‘I have to get out, but how? I won't survive.’"

After being hospitalized for a burn, “Maria” got the help she needed and escaped her abuser, and urges other victims to be brave and do the same. "I have a job now; I’m independent. I won't lie to you, I still have nightmares, but I wake up."

Xiomara's passion for immigrant victims of abuse inspired her to make a film called 'Mi Historia, Mi Dolor' … ‘My Story, My Pain.’ The 47 minute movie has been submitted to several film festivals.

If you need help in Reno, services are always available through:

Tu Casa Latina http://www.tucasalatina.org/

Safe Embrace http://www.safeembrace.org/

and

Committee to Aid Abused Women /CAAW https://caaw.org/

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