Buffalo, NY: Domestic violence a huge problem in refugee community

This is a story I might have missed if it weren’t for Creeping Sharia, here.

From BuffaloNews.com, where reporter Sandra Tan has done a very thorough job:

A refugee from Somalia was accused of trying to sell her 16-year-old daughter into marriage against her will.

Social Services took another Somali couple’s six children because the father belt-whipped his 8-year-old son and tied him up for misbehaving in school.

A Yemeni husband beat his wife and threw her down the stairs for talking back to him in front of the family.

“How else can I teach her how to behave?” the bewildered man asked in court.

These and other cases like them are raising the concerns of judges, lawyers and human services providers in Buffalo.

Erie County Family Court judges say they have seen a startling rise in the number of domestic abuse and juvenile delinquency cases involving immigrant, refugee and Muslim families who want help but fear police intervention.

In the immigrants’ native countries, these incidents would be considered common social and cultural practices. But in their new home, they are classified as abuse and felony assault.

Child neglect, abuse, family violence and juvenile delinquency are rampant.

More refugees on the way.

With more than 800 new refugees resettling in the Buffalo area each year, and nearly 1,500 expected next year, the question of how to work with non-native residents struggling with family violence has become a growing challenge for those in the court system.

The problem is serious enough that a special community and courts collaborative was formed 10 months ago to improve services to this newer population. The group recently hosted a daylong workshop in Buffalo for Family Court judges, lawyers and social service workers.

“In America, we emphasize independence and individual freedoms,” said Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin in her opening remarks. “This is in direct conflict with certain cultures that emphasize obedience to parents and authority. How do we bridge the gap between behaviors which are accepted between spouses in other cultures, but which are not acceptable or legal here?”

In the 2 1/2 years she’s been judge, Rodwin said, she’s seen at least a doubling of cases involving newcomers to the country and culturally isolated Muslims, noting that child neglect, abuse, family violence and juvenile delinquency are rampant.

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about “Preferred Communities” for refugee resettlement.  Here is the post and information on the grant program that sends special taxpayer funding to federal refugee contractors (not the city) to handle all the extra problems in the “preferred” city.  Buffalo was listed as a “preferred” place to resettle refugees.   I wonder why the feds don’t give money directly to the court systems of the “preferred communities?”  Sounds like they could use the money more than the resettlement agencies. 

Isn’t multiculturalism a beautiful thing!

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