Violence Against Non-status, Refugee and Immigrant Women

This space has been created in response to a demand by CCR members for a national forum on issues of violence against immigrant, refugee and non-status women. This site is intended to provide access to resources, trainings, websites and documents on the issue of violence against newcomer women from initiatives all across Canada. The site will be contributed to and consulted by lawyers, women's rights organizations, community organizations, front-line settlement workers, researchers and other resource centres. Scroll down for resource library.

If you would like to join the CCR Violence against Women initiative's e-mail list, send an e-mail to: 

Using this list you will be able to ask and answer questions regarding serving and supporting newcomer women in situations of violence. Click here for some examples of issues that can be addressed via the listerve.

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Article: Women with Precarious Immigration Status

Rose Elena Arteaga, Battered Women's Support Services, Vancouver

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Key Issue: CPR backgrounder

Conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses puts newcomer women at increased risk of violence and abuse

Visit the CCR campaign page on Conditional permanent residence for information and resources



Although immigrant, refugee, and non-status women experience the same forms of violence in their intimate relationships as those experienced by Canadian-born women, they also face particular barriers. A newcomer woman abused by her spouse or partner may suffer forms of abuse unique to the newcomer experience.

One form of abuse faced uniquely by immigrant, refugee and non-status women is the threat of reporting them to the immigration authorities and having them deported. Many women fear deportation even if they have the right to remain in Canada, because their partner may keep them uninformed of their full rights.

Immigration, refugee and sponsorship processes often put one partner in a position of power over the other. The reinforcement of power imbalances works in favour of an abusive partner or spouse.

Newcomer women also face particular barriers to accessing justice and services. This often takes the form of lack of access to information on their legal rights and recourse, as a result of isolation or language barriers. Newcomer women in situations of violence also sometimes fall through the cracks between women’s organizations and settlement organizations due to a lack of awareness and training of front-line workers regarding the particular vulnerabilities and problems they face.

For more information on the particular ways that newcomer women can be affected by violence, see this page on how immigration status can affect women in situations of violence or abuse.