Domestic violence against women is one of the most common victimisations experienced by immigrants (Raj & Silverman, 2002). While some progress has undoubtedly been made in the EU in terms of improving public awareness and giving women who suffer from violence more places to turn, according to the Council of Europe, one European woman in four experiences domestic violence at some point in her life, and between 6-10% of women suffer domestic violence in a given year.
Whilst immigrant women are often viewed as keepers of tradition and charged with passing this tradition on to the next generation, the jobs or roles they held in their home countries are not transferable to the host country. That makes their adjustment to a new culture particularly complicated. Male dominance in families may not only survive the move but may even be reinforced when men, threatened by new roles they see their wives assuming, seek to enforce old customs of inequality in the name of tradition.
Considering the above aspects along with the complex combination of political, economic and social factors they experience in host countries, women with an immigrant background tend to be quite vulnerable against intimate partner violence (Basile & Black, 2011).
In addition, factors of culture and immigration status occasionally aggravate the level of violence, block victims from access to valuable information/legal remedies, and complicate their efforts in obtaining any kind of relief (Hass, Dutton & Orloff, 2000). Subsequently, these circumstances sufficiently influence the barriers which a battered immigrant woman will need to confront in a host country: the nature of relief she will need to obtain from the legal system; what should be included in her safety plan; what threats the abuser will use against her; what excuses the abuser will use in an attempt to justify violence, etc.