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What is the Violence Against Women Act?

While immigrating to the United States, many people feel nervous or unprepared. This feeling can only increase when a family member takes advantage of the precarious situation to try to harm or abuse you. 

You should be aware of Violence Against Women Act in order to protect yourself, and it is uniquely important since it has a provision addressing this situation. 

Eligibility for help 

Many immigrants may be unaware of the fact you have legal recourse in an abusive situations, even as you are in the process of petitioning with Immigration Services. To qualify for this protection, you must be legally married to the abuser in a good faith union, meaning your marriage is not under the pretense of a solely trying to obtain a possible green card. Additionally, the law states that you must have lived in the same household. 

If you have children together, they also qualify for legal protection. The most common definition of a child in this situation is a person under the age of 21 who is not married. As long as they also live with you and can prove good moral character, they fit the requirements needed. 

Abused men or parents 

Although the name of the law suggests this coverage only extents to women, men are also encouraged to file for help for abusive spouses. In addition, parents with adult children who find themselves struggling with abuse also should apply for a self-petition to seek relief from their abuser. Many other unique situations are also covered under this law, such as divorced spouses or those seeking divorce while immigrating.