Immigrant wife abuse often a hidden shame

Immigration issues form a daunting backdrop
The first time her screams brought police to the house in Lakewood, Ohio, the woman lied to authorities. She told the officers that her husband did not strike her.

She was thinking of her Muslim immigrant community and the role she was expected to play: faithful wife, submissive mother. Mostly she was thinking of her children and how she would support them without an income.

The night the police came back, she did not have to weigh what to say. She heard her enraged husband admit that, yes, he smacked his wife. He owned her. He could hit her.

“No, you cannot,” she recalls the officer answering, and he led her husband out of the house and out of her life.


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