Brooklyn, NY asked in Immigration Law and Domestic Violence for New York

Q: VAWA cases that consist of mainly emotional abuse?

I had a short term marriage and suffered narcissistic abuse at the hands of my wife. Has anyone had any experience of winning a VAWA case like this? That are almost solely based on emotional abuse, not physical. My 6 months were horrific and like most "victims" I am still wearing the scars. My life is in ruins, my self esteem has been shattered and I've been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. I would just like to know what chance I have of winning a VAWA case based on what I have gone through? And perhaps what I can do to improve my chances? How do I clearly differentiate between narcissistic abuse and a bad marriage? Thanks.

3 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Clifton, NJ

A: The key to winning your case is being able to prove you were a victim and have the medical records to do so. Immigration is a very complex area of law. It is a lot more than merely filling out forms. You need to retain an immigration attorney to handle all immigration proceedings. This prevents errors that can sometimes prove costly and may even be irreversible. You should always seek to obtain the best attorney that you can afford and not let geographic restrictions stand in the way. Some immigration attorneys will charge a consultation fee, however those that do so, will give full credit if you retain their law firm. Do not let geographic restrictions prevent you from obtaining the best possible attorney. Pick the best lawyer you can find and remember one rule: a good lawyer is generally never cheap, and a cheap lawyer is generally never good so don't choose based on price. Good luck.

Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA

A: It is crucial that you provide as much evidence as possible showing that you have suffered abuse. Some of the best evidence of this would be police reports or restraining orders against the abuser. If the abuser was arrested or convicted of physically abusing you, you can submit court records discussing this. If you saw a doctor because of abuse, submit copies of your medical records. Similarly, if you have seen a counselor or have gone to a domestic violence shelter, you can submit evidence of that as well.

Remember, you do not have to show physical abuse in order to qualify under VAWA. Emotional or psychological abuse may be enough. If you have seen a psychologist or have been prescribed medication by a doctor due to the abuse, submit evidence of this as well.

As always, if you have difficulty obtaining this type of evidence, you can submit declarations from family members and friends who have witnessed the abuse you suffered, or to whom you have spoken about the abuse.

Preparing a compelling, well-organized set of evidence to support your VAWA application can be time-consuming and challenging. Hiring an attorney to help with this task can be well worth your while.

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV

A: It’s certainly worth a try. No police/court reports are required, so you can build a case on your experience and any counseling records. Any third parties who witnessed the abuse should be able to provide support as well.

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