This is a new project created by ADVCL. The mission of ADVCL is to provide a continuum of services to American women and children experiencing family violence while living in a foreign country. ADVCL works with abused American women and children in foreign countries to provide domestic violence and child abuse advocacy, resources and tools so that they can navigate the complicated jurisdictional, legal and social international landscapes, to be able to live their lives free of abuse either in the foreign country or back in the United States. As part of the danger to safety planning advocacy, ADVCL works with women on the logistics and relocation to a safe place, be that in the foreign country or back in the U.S. ADVCL also assists with finding emergency financial funding, legal consultation with international family law attorneys, and basic needs, such as housing.
Battered American women who are abused in foreign countries by their partners often feel they have no choice but to flee back to the U.S. for the protection of themselves, and their children, in their search for safety. This is partly due to the barriers they face in the foreign countries including language, culture, and restrictive marital and child custody laws. Additionally, resources available in the foreign country are often non-existent and if there are some available, they are generally inadequate. Most often survivors say they feel the U.S. will have the most inclusive legal protection for them and their children. ADVCL helps with the logistics of relocation, danger to safety planning, and assistance with emergency needs.
ADVCL has provided danger to safety transportation for 34 families fleeing domestic violence trans-nationally since 2003. Of this population, we have found some have family that they can return to, while others enter directly into emergency shelters, yet either way, the majority of survivors are homeless from the minute they land back in the US. In 2008, at least 10 or more families contacted ADVCL after they had arrived in the US seeking assistance after fleeing trans-nationally. The crisis line received approximately 1182 calls or emails in FY 2008 and provided services to 363 families with 448 children in 56 different countries.