Battered Spouses, Children and Parents (VAWA)
VAWA – Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Allows spouse, child or parent who is subject to extreme cruelty or battered to file a self-petition independently of the abusive United States citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or parent.
In battered spouse or child cases the spouse or child must demonstrate the following:
- That s/he resided with USC/LPR spouse/parent
- Was battered or subject to extreme cruelty
- The marriage was entered into in good faith
- S/he is otherwise eligible for immediate relative or preference status
- 5/he has good moral character
Evidence in WAVA Cases:
Evidence of battery or extreme cruelty includes, but is not limited to, reports and affidavits from police, judges and other court officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers; evidence of seeking refuge in a battered women's shelter or similar place; consulting with a psychologist or other mental health professional, photographs of visible injuries; or even documenting "nonqualifying abuses" to show a pattern or abuse or violence.
A derivative child of a battered spouse is also included without a separate petition.