October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a United States federal law that provided funds toward the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in unprosecuted cases. In addition, the Act formed the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, many undocumented immigrant women are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. These crimes can take place in their home countries or when they try to enter the United States. However, there are forms of relief available.
Immigrants Who Are Victims of Abuse
Immigrant women can be the victims of domestic violence when they enter the country, while working, and even within their own homes. Female immigrants who are victims of abuse often fail to report such crimes for fear of deportation. Fortunately, federal immigration law provides relief in several forms of protection for immigrant women.
U visas are available for victims of certain crimes, while victims of domestic violence may petition for relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). U visas and VAWA petitions can be complicated, and it is important to understand the qualifications for them....