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Campus Advocacy Resources & Education

Undocumented Survivors

CARE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals for students, staff, faculty, and alumni impacted by sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. 

Experiencing violence as a person who is undocumented presents unique obstacles that can have a cumulative impact on one’s trauma healing. A survivor who is also navigating their undocumented status faces unique considerations as they determine the best path to ensure their safety. The stigma, fear, and uncertainty that accompany being undocumented, or having loved one’s who are undocumented, often serve as silencing factors that can put survivors at further risk of violence. These intersecting circumstances may keep a survivor from accessing the resources available to them, and may impact whether or not they reach out to health care providers, law enforcement, or other systems and organizations that are traditionally seen as a part of the healing and reporting process. 

CARE recognizes that the histories and journeys that have led any survivor to UCSB are varied and can be dramatically different from one another. CARE is here for survivors with refugee status or who have fled their country due to war, instability, domestic violence, or systems of discrimination that pushed them to the United States as a means of survival. 

CARE understands that the trauma that one holds is not a single act or moment in time, but is connected to how one processes the traumatic events they have experienced or that have occurred for a family across generational lines. This intergenerational or historical trauma can impact one’s healing from their own personal trauma. CARE is here to support survivors with their direct experiences of violence, as well as those they carry with them from their past and familial contexts. 

Perpetrators often use their own or the survivor’s immigration status as a threat or a silencing mechanism. In addition, a survivor who is undocumented may be experiencing trauma and vulnerability in various other ways, including: 

· Isolation from family members and other social networks 

· lack of familiarity with the U.S. legal system 

· lack of confidence with language proficiency 

These difficulties can also exist if the perpetrator is undocumented, and/or if the survivor comes from a mixed-status family.

Confidentiality 

The CARE office is a confidential resource on campus; what is said to a CARE advocate will not be shared with any other office on campus or with law enforcement officers without the explicit consent of the survivor. The CARE office will never share information about a person’s status as a survivor, or their immigration status, unless requested to by the survivor. CARE understands that after an assault an undocumented survivor may experience an immense amount of stress and feelings of fear and burden. CARE advocates recognize that reporting to law enforcement does not feel like a safe option for all survivors, and that undocumented survivors may particularly experience barriers to connecting with law enforcement. CARE will always support any option a survivor chooses with regard to their healing, and will never disclose any information about a survivor without their guidance and consent. 

All faculty and staff, who are not confidential, are required to report all students’ disclosures of sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, and/or stalking to the Title IX office to ensure consistent student services and Title IX policy compliance. A CARE advocate can discuss any student’s concerns one-on-one, without sharing the student’s name, identifying information, or any other details about their visit with CARE to other campus offices – your professors, coaches, RA, Undocumented Student Services staff, or cultural center staff members will not be notified that you have visited CARE, unless you explicitly request CARE’s assistance in working with them.

Your Rights as a Survivor

Regardless of your immigration status, you have rights as a UCSB community member and as a survivor. You have the right to: 

· Not be threatened with deportation by your institution, or to disclose your immigration status. This is considered a violation of both Title IX and the Clery Act, as it actively discourages undocumented survivors from reporting. 

· File a complaint anonymously either with the federal government or with your institution. If you fear exposing your undocumented status, you are under no obligation to include your name or identifying information in your complaints. 

· Report your case to law enforcement. Undocumented survivors can apply for federal U-Visas that protect survivors who are working with law enforcement from being deported. It is important to check in with an immigration attorney about U-Visas.

(Source: End Rape on Campus)

Making an Appointment with a CARE Advocate

To schedule a non-urgent appointment with a CARE Advocate, please follow this link to our appointment request form

To speak with a confidential advocate immediately, please call our 24/7 CARE advocacy line at (805) 893-4613. If you have an emergency or feel that you may be in immediate danger, please call 911. 

If you have experienced a sexual assault within the last five days, please visit the Medical information under the “How We Help - Advocacy” tab above or call CARE at 805-893-4613 to learn about the time-sensitive option to seek a free, confidential forensic medical exam.

CARE Recognizes...

CARE recognizes that each individual may hold many of the different identities that our Populations we CARE for pages address. For more information on another identity please click here to be brought back to the Populations we CARE for homepage.