Originally signed back in 1994, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) exists to support victims of domestic violence and ultimately reduce instances of violence and sexual assault. The law expired back in 2019, but it is in the news once again as President Biden recently signed its reauthorization into law. As such, we’ve decided to outline exactly what supports the Violence Against Women Act offers, and how those in need can take advantage.

The Effects of the VAWA Reauthorization

• Established a civil cause of action for those whose intimate photos are dispersed without their consent, allowing victims reimbursement for their damages and legal fees after prosecution of the cybercrime.

• Increased educational emphasis on preventing and responding to sexual violence through ramped up support of the Rape Prevention and Education Program and Sexual Assault Services Program along with expansion of discussions in higher education.

• Enhanced training for healthcare providers to respond to instances of domestic violence and sexual assault properly and effectively.

• Places a greater emphasis on reducing youth dating violence and offering increased support to children who have been exposed to domestic violence.

• Allows criminal background check systems to flag cases where individuals with a background of domestic violence are attempting to purchase a firearm.

Obtaining Citizenship Status with VAWA

Critically, VAWA also offers immigration relief and allows individuals impacted by domestic violence to apply for permanent resident status after receiving VAWA designation. To do so, the affected individual must fill in the VAWA self-petition and subsequently complete an application for adjustment of status based on VAWA. If this is an avenue you think may be open to you, we are happy to serve as your advisor through the application process to maximize your chances of securing the citizenship you deserve amid this difficult time.

Are You Dealing with the Aftermath of a Domestic Violence Incident? We Can Help.

If you or a loved one experienced an incident involving domestic violence, you deserve a skilled attorney who will get you the compensation and support that you need as a result. Consult with an experienced attorney like those of the Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence today by clicking here or calling (410) 986-0088. Skype, Zoom and Facetime consultations are available as well.

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