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This past fall, a United Nations report denounced the extraordinary number of women who are victims of domestic violence — and for whom protection from the authorities is often nonexistent. In some nations, like Bangladesh and Ethiopia, the U.N. found that as many as 6 of every 10 women interviewed had been beaten or sexually assaulted by their husbands or partners. The report called for better protection for abused women, but it didn’t address how first-world nations like the United States should treat those women who manage to escape their abusers and flee their countries. Should victims of domestic violence be eligible for asylum, a protection that has traditionally been preserved for those persecuted as a result of political turmoil?

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