“Fearing Repercussions”

“Fearing Repercussions”

“The military was there not to judge, but to protect me.”  

Amelia came to JAMLAC last November after Jorge Lomas, JAMLAC paralegal, met her at a workshop. You could tell right away in her eyes the pain and shame that she was facing. Her emotions were so vivid that, after crying for a couple of minutes and pausing for a couple of breaks, she finally told Miriam Miranda, JAMLAC intake advocate, what lead her to JAMLAC.

“My nightmare started when we got married. He was always humiliating me. He was verbally, mentally and financially abusing me. He literally kidnapped all my documents, including my passport, student visa, family pictures, and personal information. Since I was on a student visa, he thought he could do whatever he wanted with me” Amelia paused for a couple of minutes. She cried with Miriam and with shame in her voice and profound sadness she confessed “the worse part is that I believed that, I believed that as an immigrant, I didn’t deserve any help or compassion.”

Being in the military is a significant barrier to leaving, survivor and advocate Sarah Buel identified. Abuse among military couples is vastly underreported, as survivors often fear repercussions from their abuser should he or she be demoted as a result of reporting abuse (Domestic Shelters, 2016).

In November 2017, Amelia’s husband locked her in the basement and sexually assaulted her until 1:00am. “I never had the courage to say something or report him, because he was in the Armed Forces. But that day was the worst day of my life and I finally told his supervisors. It was then I learned that they were not there to judge me but to protect me, even when I felt that I was nobody in this country.”

He was discharged and charged with domestic violence. But his threats and power over her were still there. Thanks to YOU, JAMLAC took her case and filed a protection order. JAMLAC also helped her to relocate and join the Address Confidentiality Program. Something she could never have done without your support.  She finally got back on track with her education through her international student visa and is planning to return to her home country after graduation. And YOU MADE THIS POSSIBLE! Thank you!

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