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Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Crimes in Times of Crisis

Several articles have reported that police and hospitals are seeing a rise in domestic violence reports across the country and here in Georgia since the start of the pandemic. Abusers may be using the pandemic as another way to exert control over the survivor such as by withholding cleaning supplies or hand sanitizer, sharing misinformation to frighten survivors, or using the pandemic as a scare tactic to keep survivors away from their kids. If you, or anyone you know, is a victim of abuse you can reach out to:

  1. Georgia Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-33-HAVEN;

  2. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto or text LOVEIS to 22522.

These agencies can help you find local domestic violence programs, find shelters, help with safety planning, and provide other resources for survivors.  You can also call our office to learn about local agencies and nonprofits that work with immigrant survivors of domestic violence.

Immigration Relief

Many abusers use immigration status as a form of control and manipulation. Survivors should be aware there are options to legalize their status, these include the following: 

  1. Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse: Certain abused nonimmigrant spouses may file for employment authorization if they were the abused spouse of a nonimmigrant who was admitted under A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status whom they accompanied or followed to join. 

  2. VAWA Self-Petition: Certain family members of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty may be eligible for a VAWA self-petition.  If approved, the self-petitioner may be eligible for a green card.

  3. U nonimmigrant status/visa: Available to survivors of violent crimes like domestic violence who cooperate with law enforcement.  If approved, survivors will receive a four-year nonimmigrant status that can lead to a green card.

  4. T nonimmigrant status/visa: Available to survivors of human trafficking (sex and labor trafficking).  Also, a four-year status that can lead to a green card.

  5. VAWA Cancellation of removal: Non-citizens who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent (or are the parent of a child that suffered battery or extremely cruelty from a U.S. citizen parent) may qualify for this form of relief if he or she is in removal proceedings and meets other qualifications.