Barriers to Reporting or Disclosing Violence and Seeking Help for Immigrant and Refugee Women

This inforgraphic provides examples of barriers that immigrant or refugee women may envounter that prevent them from getting appropriate help or from disclosing violence.

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  • Fear of loss of children (e.g. apprehension, deportation, divorce)
  • Discrimination and racism within service delivery system
  • Limited knowledge about laws and rights & domestic violence services
  • Geographic, social, and cultural isolation
  • Fear of deportation due to precarious immigration status
  • Social stigma related to disclosure of domestic violence
  • Language barriers and lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate services that are easy to access
  • Economic exclusion due to lack of recognition of credentials
  • Lack of coordinated services
  • Lack of accessible shelters (e.g. physical barriers; inadequate provision of spiritual, cultural, or religious needs)
  • Lack of access to attendant care and sign language interpretation for women who are living with disabilities or for Deaf women
  • Collectivist cultural beliefs that support keeping the family together and not disclosing “private” matters

This infographic emerged from Issue-Based Newsletter 26: Intimate Partner Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women.


This collection of Learning Network resources is designed to synthesize and disseminate knowledge on topics related to Gender-Based Violence (GBV). These resources provide foundational GBV knowledge including commonly used language, important gaps and emerging issues, recent research, and important educational tools and resources.

All original materials produced by the Learning Network are open-access and can be re-used and re-distributed as long as there is proper recognition of the author and/or Learning Network.