"It's really an area that's desperately needed," said Alizabeth Newman, director of the Immigrant Initiatives program at the City University of New York School of Law in Flushing.Without proper papers, immigrant women who suffer from domestic violence are afraid they may be deported and therefore are hesitant to come forward, said Jenny Robertson, who has helped three battered women as part of Newman's class this school year."There's always fear," she said. "I think it takes a lot to come in for the free services."Newman and her students currently are working to spread the word with two organizations: Pragati, which works with South Asian women and is based in Forest Hills, and Sepa Mujeres, which helps Latinas out of Hempstead, L.I. "The more outreach we do, it definitely adds a ray of hope," Newman said.The approach Newman and her students take depends on the cultural norms of the community and how insulated it is, the professor said. With the Latina organization, they simply distributed fliers in the neighborhood but with the South Asians, "we wouldn't dare mention domestic violence," Newman said. Instead, they invite women to discussions about general immigration issues and then address physical abuse when appropriat
©2005 Community News Group
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