Foreign fiancés/fiancées and other immigrants who are victims of domestic violence have rights under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In addition, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) gives immigrants access to information about their legal rights along with details about their abusers’ histories of domestic violence and other offenses.
Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence is any kind of violence involving one intimate spouse or partner threatening or abusing the other. Domestic violence could be physical, emotional, sexual, or it can entail threats related to a partner’s economic or immigration status.
Sexual assault, child abuse, and other types of violent crimes are all considered domestic violence. If a foreign fiancé(e) or another individual is a victim of domestic violence of any kind, they have the same rights regardless of their immigration status, gender, age, race, or other characteristics.
Protections in Place for Immigrant Victims
Any individual currently living in the U.S. can request legal protection against domestic abuse. They can request a protection order for both themselves and their children. They may also seek a separation or divorce from the abusive partner without requesting their consent.
Victims of domestic violence also have the right to share marital property in many cases and can ask for custody of their children along with the other partner’s financial aid.
How Domestic Violence Victims Can Avoid Future Incidents
After any type of domestic violence incident occurs, immigrant victims or their families may contact the police to request their help along with a protection order against the abusive party. Upon arriving, the police may arrest the alleged abuser.
Abuse victims can then choose to speak with an attorney, remain silent until they can speak with a lawyer, or speak in their defense. They can also seek a restraining order or protection order through courthouses, women’s shelters, attorney offices, or police stations. These orders can prevent abusers from making contact with abuse victims and their families.
Abuse victims also can request details about their rights and the abuser’s criminal history. An in-depth IMBRA pamphlet details how abuse victims can access protection in the event of domestic violence incidents.
Abuse victims all have legal protections available to them, which can help them recover from abuse and prevent future incidents from occurring.