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The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and 2000: Immigration Protections for Battered Immigrants  

Author:  Janice  Kaguyutan.; Leslye  Orloff .; Negar  Ashtari.

Source: Volume 06, Number 03, February/March 2001 , pp.33-36(4)

Domestic Violence Report

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The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), included as part of the Violent Crime Control Act of 1994, was the first piece of federal legislation in the U.S. specifically designed to help curb domestic violence. VAWA’s overarching goals were to enhance the justice system protection for battered women and to expand collaboration and cooperation between battered women’s supportive services and the criminal and civil justice systems. Additionally, VAWA included special protections for immigrant women and children abused by U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents. Newly published research confirms that an abuser’s control over a battered immigrant’s immigration status and threats of deportation are powerful tools that lock battered immigrants in abusive relationships, cut them off from help and enhance the lethality of the violence they experience.

Keywords: ability to self-petition for one’s own immigration status; suspension of deportation; Creation of an Immigrant Crime Victim Visa

Affiliations:  1: NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; 2: NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; 3: NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

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