Client Who Escaped Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is an all too real, and common, reality for many of our neighbors. Fortunately, there are people in our community who take the time to help friends, neighbors and, in this case, strangers get the help they need. This client unfortunately was one who fell victim to it.

A legal intern this summer was so touched by the help one of her clients received from a campus police officer and the work of Just Neighbors that she shared it here:

Susan was married to a man who abused her, but she was too afraid to call the cops because he threatened to have her deported. This is often the case with many immigrants that seek help from Just Neighbors. Sometimes a spouse is a person’s only connection to the United States, and if they lose that connection they fear deportation.

Susan was working on a school campus when a campus officer found her one day distraught and crying, and asked her if she was OK. She initially lied and said that she was, but after he pressed her for more information she opened up to him.

She explained what she was going through and he assured her that her husband had no authority to deport her. He encouraged her to call the police the next time her husband put his hands on her, and this gave her the courage to do just that.

In addition, the officer explained the domestic violence laws to her and provided her with resources to get away from her husband. She found her way to Just Neighbors and we were able to help her get back on her feet, away from her abuser.

Susan is starting a new life with her two sons thanks to the kindness of the campus officer and the legal services that our generous donors and volunteers provide.

It’s because of each and every one of you who support the work of Just Neighbors that other domestic violence survivors like Susan are able to get the legal help they need to leave their abuser and live life to the fullest in the United States.

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The mission of Just Neighbors is to provide immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Virginia, especially those who are most vulnerable. We also seek to foster enriching experiences that enhance awareness and mutual understanding among our clients, volunteers, staff and community.

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