October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that U.S. immigration law has many special laws to protect immigrant survivors of abuse? Antonini & Cohen helps many survivors of abuse obtain visas, green cards, and other protection. Here are important tips if you or a loved one is experiencing abuse:
1. You can report the abuse even if you are undocumented or out of status.
If someone is in danger, call the police at 911. You may also be eligible for a Temporary Ex Parte Order (TPO), a Final Family Violence Protective Order, or other legal protections. Antonini & Cohen can refer you to a family law attorney who can assist you with these matters.
2. It is important to have a safety plan.
A safety plan is a plan for you (and your children) to remain safe whether you are in the relationship, planning to leave, or have already left. Examples of practical considerations for your safety plan are where to keep important documents (visas, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.) and who should be allowed to pick up your children from school. You can call the Georgia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-33-HAVEN (1-800-334-2836) or visit them online to get help with safety planning. By calling 1-800-33-HAVEN, you can reach a trained advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Abusers will often threaten immigrant victims with deportation or loss of custody of children, but survivors of abuse often have legal options to protect themselves.
4. There are many non-profit agencies that can help with counseling, shelter, TPOs, legal referrals, and other support services.
Many of these agencies have staff who speak your language or have access to language interpreter services. Again, you can call the Georgia Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-33-HAVEN (1-800-334-2836) or visit them online to get connected to resources in your area.
5. You may be able to seek or maintain your immigration status.
Oftentimes, experienced immigration attorneys can help survivors of abuse with green cards, visas, and protection from deportation. If you cannot afford an attorney, there are local non-profits that may be able to help, and we can refer you to those resources.
Antonini & Cohen is Here to Help
If you are being abused, or if someone you love is experiencing abuse, call us at 404-850-9394 or contact us online. The Atlanta immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen have helped many survivors of abuse with green cards, visas, and protection from deportation. You are not alone. We are here to help. Don’t wait – call us today.