How Training and Expertise Improve VAWA Immigration Case Processing: The Efficacy and Legislative History of the Specialized VAWA Unit [pdf]

In passing the Violence Against Women Act and including immigration protections in it, Congress sought to create a mechanism through which U.S. immigration laws could offer help to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes. Spousal abuse consists of chronic violence and is characterized by persistent intimidation and repeated physical and psychological harm. Absent intervention, it is almost guaranteed that the same woman will be assaulted over and over by her mate. Studies indicate that the repeated violence escalates in severity over time and knowledge of this fact is the foremost reason women stay with their batterers.