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Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The violence against women act (VAWA) understands that battered spouses and children of permanent residents and U.S. citizens are victims. Consequently, women and children who are battered are able to obtain waivers of grounds of inadmissibility or deportability, prove good moral character, and obtain cancellation of removal under relaxed standards. Moreover, if the Immigrant qualifies the immigrant may self- petition for status of a permanent resident. Immigration officials realize that abusive U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents can use the Immigration Process as a means of manipulation and control because the U.S. Citizen or the Permanent Resident is the Petitioner who the beneficiary spouse needs to adjust her/his status.


The abused spouse or child may self-petition before USCIS without the U.S. Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). No person need stay in a relationship with an abusive spouse. Congress has negated abusive spouse control over the immigration process through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

USCIS and Immigration Courts are serious about providing relief to individuals who qualify under this act. Any non-citizen who is abused by a United States Citizen or permanent resident should report the abuse to law enforcement. The most important point is the protection of the spouse the child, or the parent who is being abused. Subsequent to the abuse and after the person is safe and provided for, then the person should consult an Immigration Lawyer who can advise the person under the Violence Against Women Act.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has provisions that should be discussed with an Immigration Lawyer to ascertain whether the noncitizen may self-petition under VAWA, but Evidence of battery or cruel treatment is one prerequisite. Below are some examples of evidence that may be sent to USCIS:

  • The Victim's own detailed declaration
  • Copies of temporary and final protective orders
  • Shelter records and other evidence that the victim sought shelter or protection
  • Counseling records and reports
  • Medical records documenting the abuse
  • Photographs of a visibly injured victim or property damage supported by affidavits
  • Declarations of witnesses to the abuse or the result of violence
  • School records reflecting abuse

The victim of abuse under The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in some cases have documents filed with Immigration Lawyers, and the violence starts by the United States Citizen or Permanent Resident. Under these circumstances the police should be informed of the violence and the Lawyer must advise the victim of the necessary steps to initiate the Self-Petition under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Under no circumstances should a spouse or child remain in an abusive household. The Violence Against Women Act provides relief.


The law office of Charles Dawkins Jr. represents abused spouses, children, and parents before USCIS and Immigration Court. If you are an Immigrant and feel that you have been abused by a United States Citizen or permanent resident who is using his/her legal status as a means to humiliate you, the

Immigration Law under the Violence Against Women's Act may provide you relief - Call Charles Dawkins Jr. at 908-962-9929 or online for legal services provided by a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer and Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer.

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