Our Widget:: Why Don't They Just Leave?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wrestling Against DV in CA

An immigrants' rights group in the San Fernando Valley has found an imaginative strategy for getting out the word about domestic violence, particularly against women who are vulnerable because of their immigration status: wrestling against domestic violence, literally.

The group, Hermadad Mexicana, based in Panorama City, sponsored Mexican wrestling matches as a way of bringing attention in the community to the issue. According to the the San Fernando Valley Sun:
Mexican wrestling is part comedic show and athletic prowess, with flashy outfits and names for characters. The open air matches held Sunday featured wrestlers called "Minute Men," formed by INS and other Mexican-hating fighters, who threw tortillas into the air and tried to burn a Mexican hat.

Facing them was Bandido and other immigrant defenders. But the main fight featured the true immigrant defender, "Super Mojado" (Super Wetback), a character that appeared last year after an immigration raid at a Van Nuys factory that ended with the detention of more than 100 undocumented workers.

"Super Mojado", whose identity is a secret, has been practicing the sport for 15 years, works in construction and has a mission to fight for the rights of immigrants, including women abused by their husbands.

"I try to help everybody and today we're fighting on behalf of women who are abused," he said during an interview previous to his match.

The matches are part of a broader community education effort which includes a focus on the aspects of VAWA that are of particular help to immigrants, including U-Visas, which provide work permits and a possible path to permanent residency for undocumented victims of domestic violence.

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