Although domestic violence affects families of all ethnicities, races, ages, national origins, sexual orientations, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds, a specific population is particularly at risk: immigrant women. Battered immigrant women face legal, social, and economic problems different from U.S. citizens who are battered and from people of other cultural, racial, and ethnic origins who are not battered:
· The battered woman may come from a culture that ac-cepts domestic violence.
· She may believe she has less access to legal and social services than do U.S. citizens.
· If she is not a citizen, she may be forced to leave the United States if she seeks legal sanctions against her husband or attempts to leave him.
· She is isolated by cultural dynamics that do not permit her to leave her husband; economically, she may be unable to gather the resources to leave, work, or go to school.
· Language barriers may interfere with her ability to call 911, learn about her rights or legal options, and obtain shelter, financial assistance, or food.
It may be necessary for the nurse to obtain the assis-tance of an interpreter whom the woman trusts, make referrals to legal services, and assist the woman to contact the Department of Immigration to deal with these addi-tional concerns.