There is no discrimination when it comes to domestic violence. It affects all people, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Our children, our friends, and even those indirectly tied to the relationship. Abusers will do whatever they can to gain power or control over their partners, including using their partner’s immigration status as a weapon.
Survivors of abuse manifest abuse differently depending on their family and community, as well as where that community is situated. Domestic violence can also be viewed differently based on a person’s culture, as well as the steps the survivor may feel comfortable taking to be in a safer environment.
The VAWA type of immigration waiver includes both men and women, despite its name. The majority of spousal abuse cases involve foreigners who are married to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. As a result of the marriage, the immigrant claims domestic abuse and files for legal status separately from his/her U.S. citizen spouse, usually because the U.S. citizen does not want to assist his/her spouse. As long as there is a connection between the divorce and domestic violence and/or abuse, a VAWA petition can be filed even if the marriage ends in divorce. Domestic violence can take a variety of forms and must amount to extreme cruelty. The term “extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, verbal threats, forceful detentions, psychological abuse, physical abuse, exploitation, rape, molestation, sexual assault (if a minor is involved) and forced prostitution.