Tahirih Justice Center
Tahirih Justice Center is a national non-profit that protects courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence through direct legal and social services, education and training, and public policy advocacy.
Started 3 petitions
U.S. laws should explicitly protect women and girls seeking asylum.
My name is Aicha. I am an advocate and a survivor of gender-based violence. Many years ago, I endured abuse and threats of forced marriage simply because I am a girl. The public authorities did nothing to stop the abuse. I had no other options left for survival, so I left the only home I’ve ever known in search of safety. I thought I would find refuge immediately upon arrival in the United States, but that only marked the beginning of a long and difficult journey through the asylum system. For many survivors fleeing for their lives, the asylum system can still feel rigged today. Our outdated asylum laws do not clearly recognize gender as a ground worthy of protection. As a result, survivors face an overly complicated system, full of inconsistent and arbitrary asylum decisions. It’s almost impossible to navigate without a lawyer. Too many survivors have been unjustly denied asylum, even if they are otherwise eligible under international guidelines. Without clear laws that explicitly protect survivors, the limited access to asylum that is available remains under constant threat. At any time, it can be attacked, weakened, and even eliminated by a new court ruling or administration. Relying on cobbled together regulations to ensure protection for survivors is no longer an option. No one should experience violence because of their gender. And when they do, they should have a right to seek safety. By stating explicitly in regulations and laws that survivors of gender-based violence should be protected by asylum, we are saying once and for all that every person deserves access to safety, dignity, and justice. I am asking you today to sign this petition and join me in demanding justice for survivors.
Tell ICE to Release Vilma and Reunite Her With Her Daughter
Vilma Carrillo is a mother from Guatemala who has been separated from her 11 year old daughter, Yeisvi, since May, as they were attempting to seek asylum in the U.S. Vilma escaped Guatemala because of horrendous domestic violence, and undertook a dangerous journey with her child to have a chance at a life in safety. Under the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, thousands of parents were separated from their children after they entered the U.S. at the southern border, and Vilma was one of them. Parents reported countless stories of the traumatizing and forceful ways in which they were separated; including being told that their children were only being taken for a bath, or having their screaming children ripped from their arms. The inhumanity of this policy was acknowledged at a bipartisan level, and a federal judge ordered all separated families to be reunited by July 29th. Vilma watched as parents joyfully reunited with their children, even though they were still being detained, but her turn never came. Yeisvi is a U.S. citizen, and U.S. citizens cannot be placed in these immigrant detention centers, so Vilma and Yeisvi were not permitted to be reunified. As a result, Yesivi has been painfully separated from her mother for over seven months, as she waits in foster care in Arizona. Vilma has also been recently informed that she may lose her parental rights if she is not released from detention. The state of Arizona has made clear, however, that the only reason why her parental rights are in jeopardy is because she is detained. ICE is aware that keeping Vilma in detention may result in her losing custody of her daughter, and they have not yet released her. Please sign this petition urging the ICE Atlanta Field Office Director, Sean Gallagher, and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, to order the release of Vilma immediately. Vilma and Yeisvi deserve a chance at rebuilding a life in safety together. Click here to read the New York Times story on Vilma and Yeisvi.
Tell Jeff Sessions: Domestic Violence Victims Need Asylum
Aracely’s story began in Honduras, where she lived with her family in a small community. At age 15, a man in her village known for his violent temper kidnapped her, raping and torturing her for days until she could escape. Although she found her way home, the man’s abuse continued for years, until one day he shot Aracely in the head, killed her two sons, and then killed himself. Aracely, who was pregnant with a daughter, miraculously survived, as did her daughter. After the attack, her abuser’s family blamed Aracely for his death and threatened to kill her and her family. She tried escaping to another part of Honduras, but his family found her there. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just directed immigration judges to stop granting asylum to victims of domestic violence like Aracely. Sign our petition to demand he reverse it immediately. Aracely's only chance to stay alive was to flee to the United States, where she was granted asylum. But under the new directive, victims like her won't be able to seek safety here. This could impact tens of thousands of people – most of them women. Join us in telling Sessions that victims of severe domestic violence deserve a chance at safety on our shores.