Jun 6, 2022
Domestic violence is a universally horrific experience, but the path to surviving it is considerably harder for women who are immigrants and refugees. In Washington DC, a hub for African immigrants, the violence may start at home but because many victims are undocumented, the police and court systems are often unsympathetic and become abusers as well. Few social service providers speak their language or have a cultural connection. And when the abuser is the person who brought them to this country, is the father of their children and has documented status, the power differential is overwhelming. These circumstances led Amelia Missieledies, an Ethiopian social worker, to launch the Person Center in 2013. Her sheer fortitude produced a new level of awareness about trauma-informed care and the potential of women to become their own best advocates. After her passing, Lul Mohamud, Amelia’s mentee, signed on to lead the organization. She is the daughter of Somali immigrants, is trained in restorative justice and is deeply connected to the women she serves. Lul is creating a new model of care for marginalized communities and is laying the foundation for her own transformation making legacy.