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Domestic Violence

Safety first. If you are in danger, call 911 for the Police. Physical abuse by your spouse or partner is illegal. Your safety is most important.

If you or someone you know is frightened about something in your relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Hotline advocates are available to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Interpretation services are available in more than 170 languages.

If you are married to the abuser…If you are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and are being abused, then you may be able to apply to become a legal permanent resident on your own. There is a special application that you can file – called a Self-Petition – if you can show that you are a victim of physical or mental abuse, that you married in good faith and you have good moral character. If you have children who suffered abuse, you can apply for their legal permanent residency. If you divorced because of the abuse, you may also be able to apply if the divorce was less than two years ago. You do not need to stay with the abuser to apply. Remember, your safety and well-being is most important.

If you are a victim of a violent crime and are not a United States citizen, you may be able to apply for legal status in the United States. Only some crimes are covered by this law. To qualify, you must cooperate with the Police and the Police must provide a certificate that you have been or will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. You may also file for your children.

Immigration applications are complicated…If you want to know if any of these immigration situations apply to you, then please get an attorney’s help. These are complicated applications and should not be done on your own. For more information, contact a legal services office.

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