Written by attorney Javier G Pineda

Men are also Victims of Domestic Violence (VAWA).

Mr. Smith (not his real name) came to my office after his wife had sent him to the hospital with markings on his face and body. However, that was not the reason he came to see me. He walked into my office with an approved I-130 that was filed by his legal permanent resident wife. He was concerned because his wife told him not to return to their house.

He began by telling me that he was concerned that he would not be able to obtain legal residency without the support of his wife. He thought he had to figure out a way to return to his wife. Embarrassed and nervous, he began to talk about their relationship. He told me that prior to this incident that sent him to the hospital; she would always tell him that if he did not do what she said, she would call immigration. He told me he had to give her his paycheck every week because she was in charge of all of their finances, among other details.

After listening to the circumstances surrounding his marriage and how he described the controlling nature of his wife, I explained the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). I told him that though it had “women" in the title, it applied to men as well. Although a large and disproportionate percentage of victims of domestic violence are women, some men are also victims of violence in the home.

We submitted the report from the hospital; the police report; a psychological evaluation to establish the cultural reason why men do not report these crimes; evidence of the marriage; his declaration; my client’s positive equities and the I-360 petition was approved. Mr. Smith divorced his wife and we filed his application for residence. He is a permanent resident of the United States and does not live frightened anymore.

This is for informational purposes only to stress the importance of consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. The result obtained in this case is not a guarantee or promise of the same result in other cases. Each case requires an evaluation of the facts and the law.

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