VAWA Lawyer

VAWA Attorney For Victims of Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it can feel as though your voice is unheard and your rights are disregarded. It’s vital to know that you are not alone. You have legal protections and support systems in place to help you navigate through these challenging times. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides strong legal frameworks for people like you. VAWA is about finding a safe space for you and ensuring your rights are protected. A VAWA attorney is your ally—someone who understands your situation and who can provide you with the relief that you deserve.

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What is VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that was first passed in 1994. It provides comprehensive legal protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This act has been instrumental in providing funding and resources for victim services, improving the criminal justice response to violence against individuals, and creating avenues for immigration relief for victims of certain serious crimes.

VAWA is for any victim of domestic violence, regardless of gender. Though the statute was initially implemented for domestic violence (DV) against women, we have helped with many VAWA cases for women, men, and non-binary individuals as well.

VAWA has been reauthorized several times, each iteration expanding protections and services to include more communities. It is a crucial tool for individuals seeking safety and justice with the assistance of a dedicated VAWA attorney.

What Are VAWA’s Legal Provisions?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers robust legal provisions to protect victims of domestic violence and other related offenses. Under the auspices of this act, victims have the right to seek legal redress against the perpetrators of these crimes. It’s noteworthy that in some instances, victims can even obtain a green card through VAWA, though occasionally, there may be backlogs in the process of obtaining legal permanent resident status.

Significance of VAWA for Victims of Domestic Violence

VAWA’s significance for victims of domestic abuse and violence cannot be overstated. This law has fundamentally shifted the landscape in favor of victims, providing them with the legal recourse and resources needed to escape abusive situations and seek justice. Services funded by VAWA provide victims with essential support, from emergency shelter and crisis intervention to longer-term assistance such as legal aid, counseling, and rebuilding of their lives. The Act is an acknowledgment at the federal level that victims of domestic violence deserve protection, support, and a pathway to justice, thereby proving to be a lifeline for countless individuals.

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You May Be Eligible for Protections Under VAWA if You:

  • Have you suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, adult child, or parent
  • You are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser;
  • Your marriage to the abuser was legally terminated by death (U.S. citizen spouses only) or a divorce (for reasons related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing your petition;
  • Your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence; or
  • You believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
  • Have resided with your abusive relative
  • Warrant favorable discretion by USCIS

How Can an Immigration Attorney Help?

A VAWA immigration lawyer plays a pivotal role in helping victims successfully apply for VAWA relief. It is not as simple as filling out a few forms and awaiting approval. The process demands a versatile approach to convince the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you, as an applicant, genuinely warrant this exceptional remedy. This process can span several months, during which it is immensely beneficial to have an attorney securing your paperwork and managing tasks that would be difficult for you to perform without drawing your abuser’s attention. An experienced VAWA attorney understands the intricacies of the legal process and can effectively present your case to the USCIS, significantly enhancing the likelihood of a favorable outcome. Their guidance and support can prove invaluable, ensuring that you navigate this complex process with confidence and, most importantly, safety.

What If You Entered into the US Illegally?

Even if you entered the United States without inspection (illegally), it’s important to know that you may still be eligible for protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). However, there are specific stipulations attached to this. You might be required to apply for a waiver, which is essentially a type of legal forgiveness for your unlawful entry. It’s also crucial to remember that VAWA has numerous provisions, and each case varies depending on individual circumstances. Therefore, consulting with a knowledgeable VAWA lawyer is strongly recommended to understand the nuances of your situation and map the best way forward. Your status should not deter you from seeking the protection and justice you deserve.

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U Visas and T Visas

Alongside the protections provided under VAWA, there are two other forms of relief available to victims of violent crimes: U visas and T visas.

U Visas

U visas provide temporary immigration benefits to victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse. The U visa was specifically designed for victims who are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. This not only aids in the resolution of crime but also allows victims to remain in the United States legally while helping the authorities.

T Visas

T visas, on the other hand, provide immigration protection to victims of severe forms of human trafficking. The T visa allows victims to remain in the United States and assist law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking cases. Additionally, T visa holders are eligible for certain benefits and services to aid in their recovery and rebuilding of their lives.

In both U and T visa cases, qualifying family members of the victim may also be eligible for a derivative visa. A proficient attorney can guide victims through the process of applying for these visas, ensuring that they fully understand their rights and options and helping them secure the best possible outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does it cost to hire a VAWA attorney? 

A: The cost of hiring a VAWA attorney can vary depending on the complexity of your case, as well as the amount of time and work that is required. Typically, attorneys charge an hourly fee or a flat rate. It is important to talk to several attorneys before making a decision. 

Do I need to contact Law Enforcement Officials to get VAWA? 

No, you do not need to contact Law Enforcement Officials to get VAWA. It is important to talk with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process and ensure that all paperwork and documentation sare in order for your application. 

Is a VAWA attorney only for victims of domestic violence? 

While VAWA is only for victims of domestic abuse, there are other forms of relief available for victims of violence. If you have been a victim of violence, we encourage you to speak with a well-versed immigration attorney, as there may be other immigration options that suit your particular case such as a U Visa or a T Visa.

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Can I apply for VAWA protection on my own, or do I need an attorney? 

While you technically can self-petition for VAWA protection on your own, the process can be complex and time-consuming. Having an attorney who specializes in VAWA cases can significantly improve your chances of success. They can help ensure that your VAWA immigration application is complete and correct and can represent you if any issues arise during the application process.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply for VAWA protection?

Yes, you can. VAWA protections are available to both citizens and non-citizens; your immigration status should not deter you from seeking help.

What kind of evidence do I need to provide when applying for VAWA protection?

The type of evidence required can vary, but generally, you would need to provide documentation that proves the relationship with the abuser, evidence of the abuse, and any proof that you have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

Can my abuser find out if I apply for VAWA protection?

The information you provide when applying for VAWA protection is kept confidential. It cannot be released to the abuser or anyone else without your written permission, except in certain limited circumstances.

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Bashyam Global LLP; Your Trusted Immigration Lawyers

Victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse have powerful legal options at their disposal, including the protections provided under VAWA. There’s no denying that it is a complex process, but with the right legal support and assistance, you can seek justice for the wrongs you’ve experienced. It’s important to remember that your immigration status should never stop you from seeking help and protection – there are resources available to everyone in this situation.

As experts in immigration law, we at Bashyam Global LLP are dedicated to providing the best possible representation to victims of abuse. Our attorneys have extensive experience in VAWA cases and are here to help you understand your rights and options. If you or someone you know needs assistance applying for VAWA protection, contact us online or call us at 919-833-0840 today for a consultation. Together, we can ensure that justice is served.

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