Viola is from Honduras. She moved out of her family home at the age of 13 to escape being sexually abused by a family member. When she was 16, she married a police officer who was very well connected with the local government in their hometown. Viola’s husband was incredibly abusive and beat her regularly. She attempted to escape from this situation several times, only to be pursued and dragged back home by her husband. He began locking her in the house so she could not leave. She gave birth to a child a few years after her marriage began, but the child died as an infant after the child and mother were beaten severely by the husband. A year later, another child was born. Although Viola tried to have her husband arrested, she was continually intimidated and coerced into withdrawing charges. She knew that her husband was capable of perpetrating a murder if he was angry enough—as he had done to their son.
The government did not protect Viola, in part due to the abuser’s connections in the community. After years of suffering, Viola tried to escape to the U.S. with her surviving child; however, her husband found her and took the child away. Viola has not heard from her child since. Viola asked for and received asylum in the U.S. based on the abuse she suffered as a victim of domestic violence. Just Neighbors is working with Viola on two fronts: we are assisting her in applying for Lawful Permanent Residence, and we are helping her with a fee waiver because she cannot afford the $1,070 filing fee. Just Neighbors also assisted Viola in filing an application for the child she left behind, which was approved. We are continuing to work with her to try to find her child and bring the child to the U.S.