The Tale of 2 Sisters

Tired of the abuse she had suffered at the hands of her father, Sister #1 ran away from home when she was 14. Vulnerable, she was  kidnapped by a 36-year-old man who brought her to the United States, though initially she thought she was still in her home country of Mexico. Soon after her arrival in the U.S., she experienced abuse by her kidnapper. Despite her undocumented status and having 4 children under the age of 18, she ultimately found courage to leave her abusive situation.

However, she was also concerned about her younger sister, Sister #2, whom she suspected was being abused by their father in Mexico.  Unwilling to see her sister suffer, she did whatever she could to bring her sister to the United States.  Unfortunately, her younger sister also became a victim of domestic violence when she arrived.  She too found the courage to leave the abuse despite being an undocumented mother of 3.

Both sisters find work where they can cleaning homes or in factories. In order to survive, they share an apartment with their seven children and do whatever they can to provide for their children. In October 2016, they found new resources and new hope through Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) legal clinic.

Due to the current climate and the uptick in deportations, they live with fear every day, worried about what would happen to their children, their belongings and their future if they were to be detained by ICE and sent back to Mexico.

There are many women who come to the U.S. to escape physical and sexual abuse.  Some are brought against their will, others cross the border with hopes for an end to the violence and a better future.  But without documentation, they are vulnerable to more violence and abuse, to oppression in the work place, and to limited options.  Many end up as sex workers or domestic slaves.

Today, pray for these 2 sisters and the many other women and mothers who are vulnerable to abuse at the hands of partners and at the hands of ICE.

The details of this story were submitted by Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo, Pastor of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church

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