The Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio (BCCO) along with a few other organizations have expressed concerns over the violent crimes targeting refugees and immigrant communities in the greater Columbus areas.
According to a statement received by BNS, there was a violent home invasion, robbery, and rape of 58-year-old former refugee women living in the Commons at Victoria Village apartments on January 10, 2021. Similarly, a statement released by the North Community Counselling Centers, Inc on their Facebook page mentions that the victim was robbed and raped by a gang of four men after forcing their way into her apartment in the middle of the night.
The lack of proper housing security has been partially blamed to be the reason behind such incidents. “The lack of deadbolts on doors and windows that do not open causing restricted airflow for tenants is also lacking on this list of proper safety precautions,” reads the statement from North Community Counselling Center.
The statement from BCCO also names Northland area apartment complexes and their neighboring areas to be unhygienic and unsafe for resettled refugees. The organization has called the City of Columbus to take prompt actions to address the issues faced by resettled refugees.
There has been increased instance of such crimes in the city recently. In 2020 a young man was shot dead and another individual was robbed at gunpoint. The press release has also urged all stakeholders to work in collaboration to improve the living conditions in some of the apartments as well as increase public safety in the vulnerable areas and hold the landlord accountable for the safety of their occupants.