We are proud to announce the successful green card application of a male survivor of domestic violence through VAWA Self Petition. The Violence Against Women Act (a.k.a. VAWA) allows for survivors of domestic abuse perpetrated by their U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse to self-petition for a green card. This important legislation provides protection and security to survivors who otherwise would be eligible for lawful permanent residency, but for the abuse inflicted by their spouses. By doing so, VAWA recognizes the fact that a survivor's lack of immigration status is often used by perpetrators as a further tool of abuse to exert power and control and to keep the victim in the relationship.
Domestic abuse survivors already face daunting barriers in trying to leave an abusive relationship, and these barriers are further increased when the victim is undocumented or out of status. Further, the uphill journey can be even steeper, when the survivor is a male victim of a female partner, due to long held erroneous stereotypes that men cannot be victims of abuse, much less victims of female abusers.
Through our office's representation, this survivor and his son have now adjusted to lawful permanent residency status and may begin their lives anew in safety and security. We encourage any immigrant who is suffering physical, verbal, or emotional abuse by a U.S. Citizen of Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, regardless of gender, to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to get the facts regarding their options for immigration relief. Moreover, even if an abuser is not a citizen or a permanent resident, or is someone other than your spouse, a victim of domestic abuse may be eligible for other forms of relief, such as a U-visa for crime victims, and should likewise seek the consultation of an experienced immigration attorney.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for support and resources.
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