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Violence Against Newcomer Young Women and Youth

Young women are at greater risk of violence, including homicide (Canadian Women’s Foundation). Violence and abuse could be taking place at school, at work, in home, in a relationship, online or on the street.

Who are Newcomer Young Women and Youth?

We define newcomer young women and youth as immigrant, refugee, temporary foreign worker, and non-status girls and women between the ages of 12 and 25.

How is Violence Against Young Newcomer Women and Youth Distinct?

  • A newcomer young woman or youth may be significantly impacted by witnessing violence or abuse in her home. This could include increased behavioural or emotional difficulties, increased risk of injury or abuse, or traumatic stress reactions (e.g. nightmares or flashbacks).
  • An abuser who is a parent could sometimes use a youth in the violence against the youth’s mother. For example, the abuser could blame the youth for the violence, degrade their mother to the youth, or abduct them to punish their mother.
  • The impact of violence may not be immediate and may reduce a young woman’s or youth’s ability to learn how to cope with having witnessed violence
  • Some youth feel love/affection as well as disappointment or anger towards the parent who is abusive. They may learn unhealthy attitudes or behaviours from them
  • Some youth who have witnessed or survived violence may have suicidal thoughts or actions, participate in “high risk” activities, or experience or engage in dating violence
  • Newcomer young women and youth may experience violent language and harassment through social media

What Barriers Prevent Young Newcomer Women and Youth from Accessing Support?

  • Violence against young newcomer women and youth often goes unreported if they are afraid of deportation, Children’s Aid interventions and the broader impact on their family