Welcome to "A Path to Safety and Citizenship: A Guide for New United States Arrivals and Survivors of Gender Based Violence".
This eBook is designed to provide information and guidance to new arrivals in the United States who are survivors of domestic and gender based violence. We understand that navigating the immigration legal system can be daunting, especially when someone is also dealing with the trauma and emotional upheaval of domestic and gender based violence. This guide is intended to help you understand your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions about your path to safety and legalization as a new arrival in the United States of America.
The chapters in this guide cover a range of topics, from the specific legal protections available to survivors of domestic and gender based violence to the different types of visas that may be available, as well as the eligibility requirements and application processes. We will examine the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and other federal and state laws that provide protections to new arrivals and survivors of domestic and gender based violence.
Our hope is that this guide will empower you with knowledge and resources while also helping you find a path to safety and legal status. We recognize that every situation is unique and this guide is not intended to replace legal advice from a qualified attorney or professional mental health counselor. However, we hope that it will provide a useful starting point for survivors of domestic and gender based violence who are seeking information and support while pursuing a legal status in the US.
This ebook is written with the support and encouragement of Truth & Reconciliation Conversations (TRC), a nonprofit charity that promotes racial reconciliation and gender equality. TRC partners with diverse organizations to host the TRC Global Summit and offer year-round accredited courses to teach students how to identify and prevent domestic and gender based violence (GBV).
We believe that every survivor and new arrival has the right to safety and dignity, regardless of immigration status. We hope that this guide will help you navigate the complex legal immigration system and find the support you need to achieve safety, healing, and justice.
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Silvia Avila, MA, LCPC