The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides security and resources for those affected by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. While the name implies protection for women, the program offers safety benefits to all genders.
Men who have experienced abuse at the hands of a loved one can also apply for VAWA protections.
Qualifications of VAWA
To qualify for VAWA protection, one must file a self-petition. Self-petitioners must prove that they have suffered abuse or extreme cruelty by their spouse, parent, or son/daughter.
That family member must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualifying American Indian and Alaska Native. VAWA self-petitioners must also provide evidence of the abuse and its effects on them, as well as evidence of their good moral character.
Benefits of VAWA
VAWA provides a variety of benefits to self-petitioners, including:
- Protection from deportation and in some cases, permanent residence status
- Work authorization
- Can include children under 21 in the self-petition
- Access to specific health and safety benefits
- Assistance in applying for public benefits, such as food stamps and rental assistance
- Acccess to counseling and other public support services
What Happens If I Don’t Qualify?
If you don’t qualify for VAWA, you still have options. The U Visa for Crime Victims and the T Visa for Victims of Trafficking are two alternatives that may provide similar protections. Talk with an immigration attorney who can help review your case and advise on the best course of action.
An attorney experienced in VAWA can help ensure your application meets the necessary requirements and that your rights are protected.
You have options that can protect you and your family from further abuse. Contact us at Abogada Ashley Immigration to get the help you deserve.
The Question of Masculinity
The stigma that surrounds male domestic violence victims creates a barrier to seeking help. While VAWA provides protections and resources for all genders, many men avoid seeking help due to feelings of inadequacy, fear of being judged, or disbelief that they can be victims.
Domestic violence can affect anyone. Men should feel comfortable contacting organizations and law enforcement when they have experienced abuse. While men can be victims of physical abuse, most often men are victims of emotional, psychological, verbal and/or financial abuse, all of which qualify for VAWA. VAWA provides a safe and secure way for men to seek the protection and resources they need to move forward with their lives.
We understand the impact domestic violence can have on your well-being. Reach out for help if you or someone you know needs it.
So, Can A Man Apply for VAWA?
In short, VAWA gives men the same benefits as women. The goal is to help them get away from their abusers and to gain access to the safety, health services, and support they need. Seeking sanctuary is not a sign of weakness but rather strength and courage to start the journey toward healing.