Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday his decision to overturn earlier court precedent effectively rolling back protections for asylum-seeking men, women, and children fleeing domestic violence and criminal gangs.

Sessions referred Matter of A-B- to himself earlier this year—a case involving a Salvadoran woman who came to the United States seeking asylum after being brutalized by her husband.

In his decision, he overturned the precedential case Matter of A-R-C-G-, which recognized domestic violence can constitute persecution and form a basis for asylum. This decision has effectively removed a vital lifeline to victims of severe domestic and gang violence.

There is no doubt Monday’s decision will send countless mothers and children back to their abusers and criminal gangs.