Unfortunately, domestic violence, or “intimate partner violence” is all around us. It doesn’t matter the culture – not even the gender. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/domesticviolence.html
Hispanics frequently face domestic violence and work place violence, leaving them with basic but important questions. If I am undocumented, what do I do about my spouse or partner who beats me? What do I do if a co-worker beats me up? Will the police help me? Will my employer help me? Where can I get help? How does this affect my immigration issues?
THE U-VISA – for Victims of Violent Crimes
My law firm focuses on immigration questions and walks clients through their legal options. For instance U-Visas protect victims of violent crimes. The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Applicants must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to a criminal activity in at least one of the following categories: rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, hostage situations, peonage, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes.
VAWA – Violence Against Women Act
The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.
The State of Indiana has laws to help victims of workplace violence. So you only speak Spanish and are not familiar with the legal system, well report the problem to your employer and ask for help. A victimized employee can request a Court’s restraining order. Employers of a targeted worker who is the target of unlawful violence or credible threats of violence can apply for support from law enforcement for their workers. These orders are called “Workplace Violence Restraining Orders” (WVRO’s). There are 2 kinds of WVRO’s—a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued without a hearing that lasts a maximum of 15 days, and an injunction (an order issued after a hearing) that lasts up to 3 years.
Contact us for free information if you have questions about domestic and workplace violence. Don’t let your immigration status stop you from seeking help!