Can I Win VAWA If I Have Been Married for Years?

If you enjoy my blogposts, please give me a like by clicking on the heart above. Thank you and happy reading. 

In November 2012, I met Gonzalo. From the moment I saw Gonzalo, I was immediately attracted to him. He was attractive, manly and sure of himself.  It was love at first sight. In October 2013, Gonz and I married in Miami. …The arguments became frequent and I stopped arguing with him. I gave up on trying to have a little bit of freedom because I did not want to argue with him anymore… His family would visit and see the bruises I had on my body, but Gonz did not care if they saw me…In March 2015, our daughter was born with health issues. I practically lived in the hospital caring for her, but never told them about my broken ribs…. His threats of calling Immigration and taking my daughter away are what keep me by his side. I have nowhere to go.

The statement included with this survivor’s I-360 VAWA application describes over five years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by her US citizen husband. The final statement we helped her prepare was nine pages long. The original one, written by the survivor in Spanish, was one page long. Blandon Law attorneys invested hours asking her for details, dates, and witness information – all of which helped demonstrate to the immigration authorities that our client deserved a green card based on the Violence Against Women Act.

When she hired us as her attorneys, she feared the immigration authorities would not believe her. She had been married for many years to her abuser and she told child protection authorities that she was not abused (to avoid losing her children or being hurt further). She could not imagine a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel that was her life. Also, she had seen her father beat her mother repeatedly in Honduras and the police did nothing. She thought immigration, like the police, would protect her US citizen husband.

What Do I Include in I-360 VAWA Statement?

The good news is that when a woman hires Blandon Law for help with I-360 VAWA, she hires a team to guide her through the process. We edit the statement. The information that must be included is how the couple met; history of the marriage; and details of the abuse including what happened and when. Most importantly, the statement needs to explain in the applicant’s words WHY they felt they could not leave the survivor. What was the power and control the abuser had over the survivor. For example, our Honduran survivor who wrote the statement above explained that her abuser threatened to have her deported – without her daughter – if she left him. Other VAWA I-360 statements have included other manipulation techniques, including the abuser threatening suicide.

How Can Friends Help with I-360 VAWA?

Witnesses may not have seen the abuse, but they are still needed. They can provide statement confirming that it was a real relationship. They may also have social media posts of the couple together, or those same social media posts may help the survivor remember dates of the abuse. For example, a survivor may not remember the date she was raped but she may remember it happened after returning home from a trip; the friend may remember the dates of the trip. Friends can also serve as witnesses because they may have important emails or texts which Blandon Law attorneys use as evidence to win the VAWA I-360 case. Last, in some cases, both friends and family members write statements of what they have seen (such as the survivor’s nervous reaction when the abuser calls; stories they have heard about the abuser’s arrests for beating prior wives).

We have over 20 years of VAWA I-360 experience, helping both men and women get their green cards. If you want a better future, including a work permit, call Blandon Law at 954.385.0157 or click for a consultation.

Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.

Recommended Posts