A new report from Human Rights Watch finds that the hundreds of thousands of female immigrant farmworkers in the U.S. face a high risk of sexual violence a lack of government protection.
According to HRW:
The 95-page report, “Cultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment,” describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
The report notes that the reauthorization of the watered down Violence Against Women Act will help the situation, but will not go far enough.
Below, watch an HRW produced video about the abuses, including interviews with farmworkers.