U.S. Immigrant Farm Workers Routinely Sexually Abused, Says Human Rights Watch

Claire Gordon

Patricia M., came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 21-years-old, and got a job harvesting almonds. On her third day, the foreman was dropping off all the workers at the gas station, as he did at the end of every day, but he didn't let her out. He took Patricia to a remote field, where she says he tied her hands with her bandanna to the grip above the truck door, got on top of her, stripped her naked, and raped her.

There was no other job available, so Patricia says she kept working at the same farm, for the same foreman, who kept raping her. She let him, because she was afraid that if she didn't he would hurt her. She had no relatives in the U.S., and was afraid to tell her family in Mexico. When Patricia got pregnant, she sought help from a social service agency. Without them, she never would have filed a police report.