Immigrants suffering from domestic violence (often perpetrated by a partner) are in particularly desperate straits, as evidenced by the case of Valentina Flores. Back in 2011, Valentina came from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. to visit her brother, who had lived in America for sixteen years. While visiting, Valentina met the man who subsequently became her husband. They married, and shortly afterward Valentina’s husband, a U.S. citizen, petitioned for her to receive a conditional green card. At that time, however, Valentina’s husband began physically abusing her. After one such event she called the police, and a responding officer referred Valentina to Just Neighbors for legal assistance. On Valentina’s behalf, Just Neighbors attorneys filed for a change of condition on the green card through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which allowed Valentina to petition for her own green card and escape the cruelty of her husband.
Since then, Valentina has become a U.S. citizen. She currently works in child care and is striving to improve her status in the field in order to better support herself and her children. Valentina also hopes to work with Just Neighbors so that she can help other immigrants and asylum-seekers find a home in her community.
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