Mail Order Domestic Violence

(revised from original post 7/1/15)
After the Rice
Lila married Jack.
Things were fairy tale for a long time.
And then the abuse started.
Then it stopped.
Then it never stopped.


Lila


Lila was gorgeous. In a way that was genuinely unforgettable. Meet her one time and you would remember both her name and face forever.

Lila was the adoring mother of two children with her husband of ten years, Jack. It all made for a nice shiny surface.

See, in public, Jack would take Lila out of her case (home) and show her off like a lovely trophy wife that he imported from overseas.  Behind closed doors, he treated her like a ratty floor covering.
Trying to Break Free
It actually took time for Lila and me to meet face to face.

At the time I was working at a domestic violence shelter. But, she was so terrified that she would only talk with me on the phone and wouldn’t give her name.  


In time,  she told me her name.
Then, we would meet me in secret locations, but only for brief chats. Believe me, she was keeping time.
Finally, she trusted me enough to come into the shelter.
This is how terrified Jack made Lila feel.
This is also how brave Lila was.

Jack and Lila
Lila had fallen in love with Jack shortly after they met on an international dating site for singles.  Jack sent her touching love letters that she would put away in a special place.  She would unfold the letters and read them until the paper was so ragged it was about to rip.


Jack came to visit her and her family in the Philippines bringing gifts that they could never afford.  Her family eagerly gave Jack and Lila their blessings when Jack asked her father to marry Lila.


Listen


Lila heard these voices.
I’ve heard these voices.
We’ve all heard these voices.


Well, she married him just to get into this country.”
“If it wasn’t for him she wouldn’t even be here.”
“Her family benefits from what the money he earns as a citizen in this country.”


We got it.

But think about this.  

It isn’t as if there is a shortage of women here in this country.  For a person with an abusive personality, there are some pretty appealing benefits to marrying women from troubled foreign countries.:

?Brides who originate from foreign countries come to America leaving all of their friends & families behind. This gives abusers home field advantage. Immediately the bride is isolated from others.   

?Brides who originate from foreign countries typically have different cultural norms.  This may make them seem weird, odd, cold, or suspicious to supporters of the abuser who may later insist that everything was all of the victim’s fault.

?Brides who originate from foreign countries often aren’t familiar with the legal system. This can make it difficult to file a police report or a protective order should the need arise.

?Brides who originate from foreign countries are sometimes viewed with suspicion as manipulative women who are just trying to get their green card.

?In cases of domestic violence on American soil sometimes victims have said that it is the American who initially receives the benefit of the doubt.

?Brides who originate from foreign countries might fear law enforcement because in their country law enforcement uses different tactics.  They don’t even have the right to protest against what may have been done.

?Brides who originate from foreign countries typically don’t realize that there are resources available, that the resources are often free or low cost, and that even they may take advantage of them.

He may have gotten what he wanted out of the deal. A beautiful bride. While she got to put her feet on American soil, as a prisoner of domestic violence.

Action
I am a romantic.  
I believe in love.  
I believe that you can find love anywhere in the world.
I also know that you can find danger anywhere in the world.
When a U.S. citizen goes to another country, brings them here, makes them his/her victim, what are we going to do about that?



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Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
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Post Author: Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.

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