Mail Order Brides Subject to Abuse

Further on the subject of slavery, Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post reports on a lobbying effort by a group known as “Stop Abusive and Violent Environments.” With a name like that, you would think they are against (or at least don’t support) violence against women, particularly domestic violence.  But they would rather not protect the rights of “imported” brides who suffer at the hands of abusive husbands once they arrive in the U.S.  Why not? Because the lobbying organization is run by those with financial interest in a mail order bride company.

For more info on this despicable lobbying effort and the protections that will be lost, read this excerpt from Bassett’s article:

The advocacy group, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, or SAVE, has been lobbying the House of Representatives to include a “reform to curb VAWA immigration fraud” in its version of the bill. The GOP version of the bill does that by removing confidentiality protections for immigrant victims of abuse and forcing them to tell their alleged abusive husbands that they’re applying for protected immigrant status. It also removes an avenue through whih immigrant victims can achieve permanent citizenship.

An official of SAVE has a major financial interest in reducing immigrant protections: Its treasurer, Natasha Spivack, started international “marriage service” Encounters International in 1993 with the aim of arranging marriages between U.S. men and Russian women. “The Woman Of Your Dreams Just May Have A Russian Accent,” states the company’s website.

One of the Russian brides matched by Encounters International sued the firm, claiming that she was beaten by her American husband, that the company failed to properly screen candidates and neglected to tell her about a law allowing immigrants to escape abusive marriages without fear of automatic deportation. A jury decided in favor of the Russian bride and awarded her $434,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The case was affirmed upon appeal.

The full (and chilling) verdict is at  http://www.tahirih.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/fourthcircuitcourtdecision.pdf

via Mail Order Bride Company President Lobbying To Weaken Protections For Abused Immigrants.

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4 thoughts on “Mail Order Brides Subject to Abuse

  1. Some things are just too gross to even fathom aren’t they? – Thank you for bringing attention to this travesty. May many hear and act today!

    • Thank you for your comment. President Obama has pledged not to sign the House version of the Violence Against Women Act, but it’s not clear what, if any, compromises each party is willing to make. Laura Bassett writes relentlessly and well on this topic.

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