Fighting Back: Filing Suit Under VAWA
VAWA is a part of the legislation which was enforced by the US Government for protection of women from sexual assault and domestic violence. If you want to file a suit under VAWA, you need to fill up and submit I-360 form for gaining relief. With that, you need to submit pieces of evidence for showing that you meet the VAWA requirements. The I-360 petition for abused spouses is of no value without any sort of evidence. VAWA is based and functions on evidence for proper care and relief. It also helps in determining the steps that can be taken by the implementation.
Evidence to be included with I-360:
In addition to the form I-360, you also need to include some evidence. You need to include the following:
- Personal declaration: The first set of evidence includes a detailed declaration of your relationship with the abuser and with other details for eligibility of VAWA. The declaration needs to include all the details about how you and the abuser met and how your relationship with that person developed. It should also include details like when you met the abuser and your reason behind marrying that person if you are married. Personal declaration further includes types of abuse you suffered from and when each abuse occurred. Try to include as much details as you can for gaining full support from VAWA. Try to project your good moral character with details like if you go to temple or church regularly, support your family or take part in the activities of your community etc.
- Police clearance records and proof of abuser’s status: Submitting police clearance records is of prime importance. You must submit police clearance records from the places you have lived for at least six months in the past three years. You can get your clearance record by visiting the police stations where you have lived and asking for them. You can tell them that it is for the process of immigration. Police clearance makes sure that you have not been convicted under any serious crime. In case you have been convicted for any crime during the past three years, you might be barred from qualifying under the regulations of VAWA. If your abuser is a citizen of the United States, you need to submit a copy of the birth certificate, passport or other legal documents of the abuser. You can obtain a copy of the abuser’s birth certificate from the County Recorder where the abuser was born. In case the abuser is a green card holder, you need to submit a copy of the abuser’s green card or other immigration documents. If you are not having any of the documents regarding the abuser, you can file Freedom of Information Act or FOIA request with the US.
- Proof of your abuse: It is a very crucial job to do. It is very important to provide VAWA with as much evidence as possible regarding your abuse. Evidence like police reports or other restraining orders against the abuser will work. If the abuser was arrested for abusing you physically, you can submit those records. In case you want to strengthen up your case, you can opt for a medical checkup and submit the doctor’s report regarding your abuse.
You need to remember that you do not need to show physical abuse for qualifying under VAWA. Psychological or emotional abuse is enough for strengthening up your case. In case of psychological abuse, you can submit reports if you have seen a psychologist. You can also submit declarations regarding your abuse from your family and friends.