“The List” May Be Keeping Utah Crime Victims Silent
A list of about 1,300 alleged unauthorized immigrants was released to the media and law enforcement earlier this year, and a domestic violence group believes it is keeping some Latino victims from seeking help.
Members of the Utah Domestic Violence Council say “the list” has stopped many Latino victims from giving their names when speaking with organizations working with domestic violence victims.
Hildegard Koenig, the group’s diversity coordinator, said, ‘We may have a victim that may not contact law enforcement, may be reluctant to do so. They may just be afraid to even just go and get some medical services.’
An e-mailed reminder was sent out to service providers to remind them about the importance of confidentiality when speaking with domestic violence victims. They are also trying to educate victims and potential victims about their rights under the state and U.S. constitutions when reporting a crime.
Persons calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of the United States” compiled the list using information from the Department of Workforce Service’s files including the names, addresses, phone numbers and birthplaces of all on the list. . After the list’s public release on July 12th, two DWS employees were fired. The Utah Attorney General’s office is still investigating whether the list’s creation and distribution broke any laws, but they have repeatedly declined to make any comments during to the investigation.
Monday, Koenig said the DWS is ‘doing a good job’ educating the community and service workers since the list’s release, and adds that her organization is hoping to ‘educate the community on what their rights are, what they are entitled to receive, [and] what their children have the right to receive.