CARE provides confidential advocacy, support, and related referrals for students, staff, faculty, and alumni impacted by sexual assault, relationship 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 who came to the United States for a better life, for those who identify as refugees, and for those who have fled their country due to war, instability, relationship 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.
What's different about interpersonal violence for people who are undocumented?
Perpetrators often use their own or the survivor's immigration status as a threat or a silencing mechanism. These difficulties can also exist if the perpetrator is undocumented, and/or if the survivor comes from a mixed-status family.
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
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)
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, relationship 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.
CARE recognizes that each individual may hold many of the different identities that our Communities we CARE for pages address. For more information on another identity, please go back to Communities we CARE for.
We support survivors from all backgrounds, the survivors that we serve are not limited to the identities listed on our Communities we CARE for page. If you do not see your identity listed, and would like to learn how interpersonal violence impacts you, please call our 24/7 confidential phone number at 805-893-4613 or make an appointment online to be connected with a confidential advocate.
Schedule a non-urgent appointment with a CARE Advocate.
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, call CARE at 805-893-4613 or navigate to the Medical section on our Advocacy Services page to learn about the time-sensitive option to seek a free, confidential forensic medical exam.