Today the House voted and passed the Senate’s bipartisan re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Generally, VAWA provides funds for the protection of victims and the prosecution of perpetrators. VAWA aims to protect the spouses or children of a United States Citizen (USC) or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) , or parent of a United States Citizen, who is battered or subject to extreme cruelty. With respect to Immigration Law, an individual who is a spouse or child of a USC/LPR or a parent of a USC, who is subject to this type of violence by the USC/LPR, may self-petition independently of the abusive USC/LPR. For years this has been a valuable way for victims to free themselves of the violence.
One of the most notable additions to this act is an extension of VAWA remedies and protections to Native Americans and L.G.B.T. victims. Previously, Native Americans and L.G.B.T. victims were not allowed to claim protection under VAWA.
So what does this mean for you?
If you are a victim of domestic violence from a USC/LPR you may be eligible to receive protection under this act now or in the near future.
If you believe you qualify under VAWA, please seek out qualified and experienced counsel. Other qualified service providers include (but are not limited to) Catholic Charities, YMCA international Services, or Tahirih Justice Center.
Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook
By Andrew, 02/28/13