March 18, 2013. Colorlines magazine reports a disturbing New York City Police Department policy of investigating the victims of domestic violence. One very real concern:

“They would not report a crime because they would fear getting locked up. It would empower the perpetrator, and there’s going to be more domestic violence as a consequence, and you’re endangering children,” Chinitz told the Post.

The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates there are about 535,000 unauthorized immigrants living in New York City and the new directive could impact this group especially hard. Abusers often use their partners’ immigration status as a tool of control, according to a Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy report published in 2000. The new NYPD directive could further prevent immigrant women and men from reporting their abusers due to fear of deportation.