Immigrant victims of domestic violence often face additional barriers to living a safe, stable life. Language and cultural barriers may make it difficult for some immigrant victims to understand their rights, access services, and work with law enforcement. Additionally, abusers of immigrant victims may often have power over their victims through deliberate attempts to misrepresent the law, by controlling immigration documents, and by threatening deportation or losing custody of their children if they report violence.
If you are undocumented and have been a victim of domestic violence, or if you are a victim of domestic violence whose immigration status is dependent on your abuser, there may be protections in the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that can help you stay in the country safely.
Because of the complexities of immigration issues and domestic violence, it is important to get help. Many domestic violence agencies in New Jersey offer immigration advocacy to victims.
If you are an immigrant victim of domestic violence and would like to speak with a domestic violence advocate, click here for a listing of domestic violence agencies near you.