Every year, thousands of people migrate to Canada from various countries. As new Canadians, there are many reasons why they would be vulnerable to sexual abuse and assault.
This vulnerability could be a result of many things including the following:
Many of the young men and women who move have worked for years in substandard conditions while they gained experience and waited for the opportunity to move to Canada. They may feel an incredible amount of pressure to be successful in immigrating to Canada in order to support their family back home. Many have dual goals of both financially supporting their families back home and eventually sponsoring members of their family to move to Canada.
Further, given that many immigrants have experienced living in poor conditions prior to coming to Canada, many are under the false belief that they just have to "put up with it" until they reach the two years and are eligible for permanent residence.
Many immigrant women are sponsored by a spouse or partner for permanent resident status. Therefore, it is natural to wonder whether she will be forced to leave Canada if she is not a Canadian citizen.
Permanent Resident Status
In most cases, a woman with a permanent resident status cannot lose that status or be forced to leave Canada only because she leaves an abusive relationship. This is true even if her abusive partner sponsored her application for permanent residence. But immigration authorities may investigate if a sponsor tells them that:
This could lead to the loss of her permanent resident status. A woman who is concerned about this possibility should get legal advice.
Conditional Permanent Resident Status
In some cases, a woman's permanent resident status will be "conditional" for the first two years. A sponsored woman will get conditional status if:
A woman with conditional permanent resident status is expected to live with her sponsor for two years from the date she receives that status.
Click here to read more about different statuses and the law for it.
What kind of abuse or neglect will a woman need to show?
Abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, or financial. Below are some examples of types of abuse:
Physical abuse includes:
Sexual abuse includes:
Psychological abuse includes:
Financial abuse includes: (aimed at keeping a woman dependent on her sponsor)
Click here to read more.
1. Community Legal Education Ontario
2. Sexual Assault.ca
3. Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs