As an Immigrant to the U.S., What are the Legal Rights Available to Me if I Face Abuse?

(Read more on Consult an attorney to understand how these options may affect you)

  • Under all circumstances, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are illegal in the United States. All people in the United States (regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnicity, national origin or immigration status) are guaranteed protection from abuse under the law. Any victim of domestic violence—regardless of immigration or citizenship status—can seek help. An immigrant victim of domestic violence may also be eligible for immigration-related protections. 
  • All people in the United States, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, are guaranteed basic protections under both civil and criminal law.  Victims of crime, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status, can access help provided by government or non-governmental agencies, which may include counseling, interpreters, safety planning, emergency housing and even monetary assistance. Laws governing families provide you with:
  • The right to obtain a protection order for you and your child(ren).
  • The right to legal separation or divorce without the consent of your spouse.
  • The right to share certain marital property. In cases of divorce, the court will divide any property or financial assets you and your spouse have together.
  • The right to ask for custody of your child(ren) and financial support. 
  • Under U.S. law, any crime victim, regardless of immigration or citizenship status, can call the police for help or obtain a protection order.

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