Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows some victims of spousal abuse or domestic violence to attain lawful immigration status without the spouse’s petition.

An immigration attorney may request a psychological evaluation to assess the client’s current mental state and assess the emotional impact of the abuse endured. Psychological evaluations may be used to document the nature, severity, and frequency of the spousal abuse or domestic violence.

The eligibility requirements and case-law outline categories of battery and cruelty. These categories include but are not limited to verbal abuse, intimidation, manipulation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, etc. After the abusive acts are identified within each cruelty category, we assess their impact on emotional adjustment, social functioning, mental health diagnoses, and long-term impact.

Extreme cruelty or battery evaluations are used for multiple immigration cases including:

• Special Immigrant – VAWA (I-360)
• Removal of conditions-1-751
• Other spousal abuse evaluations used to gather psychological evidence on the type of cruelty endured, its severity, and its impact.