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Fear keeping immigrant women from reporting domestic abuse

Signs indicate that immigrant women living across Illinois and the United States are more fearful than ever when it comes to reporting that they are victims of domestic abuse, but if you are among them, you may have options. At Francis Law Center, we have helped many clients navigate these and other complex issues relating to immigration, and we may be able to do the same for you.

According to the Chicago Tribune, many women like you are afraid to report acts of violence at the hands of their partners because they either fear deportation for their abusers, or for themselves. Often, the abuser is the father of a victim’s children, and this, too, can complicate matters and make women more afraid to speak out.

Also compounding the issue is the fact that, to obtain an order of protection from your abuser, you must typically visit your local courthouse, and courthouses appear to be fair game when it comes to immigration enforcement. An order of protection may come into play if you decide to pursue a U visa, which are visas that may be given to immigrants who are victims of crime. However, many women like you are too afraid to seek protective orders because they fear visiting such a public setting and calling too much attention to themselves.

Many immigrant domestic violence victims also avoid applying for U visas because of the red tape involved. The application process can take years, and women may not obtain work permits while they wait for approval or denial of their applications, making it extremely difficult for many women to get by in the meantime, financially.  More information about applying for visas and related immigration concerns is available on our website. 

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