[pdf] O.M.G. et al v. Wolf et al. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (March 30 2020) (+)

O.M.G. v. Wolf (2020) U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. David Thronson, “Declaration filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in O.M.G. vs Wolf.” NIWAP coordinated a national team of law professors and recruited the law firm of Winston Strum to help draft and develop this declaration that discusses the dangers for children in DHS family detention centers, the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides an excellent overview with social science research data support of the impact of trauma for immigrant children in their neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development and children’s health and well-being. Leslye E. Orloff assisted in drafting and editing the brief. (March 30, 2020)

[pdf] How to Prepare Your Case Through a Trauma Informed Approach: Tips on Using the Trauma Informed Structured Interview Questionnaires for Family Court Cases (SIQI) (April 27, 2023) (+)

Developing a survivor’s story is a critical component of preparing for any case in which a client has a
history of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking. When working with immigrant
survivors applying for immigration relief as a result of the abuse, it is necessary to collect a detailed story to
submit as part of the immigration application.

[pdf] Trauma Informed – Structured Interview Questionnaires for Immigration Cases (SIQI)(April 27, 2023) (+)

The following questionnaires are provided to facilitate the Trauma Informed Structured Interview, which is the second part of the Trauma Informed Immigration Story Writing Intervention Method. During the story developing session, clients are encouraged to share their story uninterrupted while advocates and attorneys listen, take notes, and watch for triggers. This tool is designed to be used during follow up interviews with clients. This Structured Interview Questionnaire for Immigration (SIQI) will aid advocates and attorneys in eliciting additional in-depth information to strengthen their client’s immigration case and will also provide a complete picture of trauma and distress endured by survivors. The questions are designed to facilitate the client’s healing and to strengthen the client’s immigration application by uncovering important details of the story by screening for additional incidents, experiences, and emotional harms that contribute to extreme cruelty and/or substantial mental or physical abuse. Attorneys and advocates should explain the goals of this session to the client before initiating the trauma informed structured interview. This 2023 version incorporates questions helpful to assessing stalking behaviors and risk factors.

[pdf] DHS Enforcement Priorities, Courthouse Enforcement and Sensitive Location Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges (December 27, 2021) (+)

The purpose of this bench card is to inform courts about DHS protections available to all immigrants who are litigants, crime victims, children or witness in court proceedings from immigration enforcement at courthouses. The bench card provides an overview of the forms of immigration relief created for immigrant survivors of crime and/or abuse, outlines DHS enforcement priorities, discusses how prosecutorial discretion will be exercised, describes which parents, children, family members, guardians, and other litigants will and will not likely be subject to immigration enforcement, discusses policies governing enforcement of civil immigration laws at courthouses, and presents information locations protected from immigration enforcement that will be useful to state court judges drafting visitation exchange, protection orders, criminal case bond orders and range other court orders.

[pdf] U-Visa: “Helpfulness” Checklist (+)

This checklist has been developed to assist police, prosecutors, judges, commissioners, magistrates and other U visa certifying officials in identifying the wide range of ways an immigrant crime victim can provide helpfulness to justice system officials and government agencies in detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction or sentencing of U visa listed criminal activity. The document includes citations to U.S. Department of Homeland Security policies, regulations, guidance and training materials on U visa certification and helpfulness. A national team of law enforcement, prosecutors and judicial trainers with expertise and experience on the U visa contributed to the development of the list of examples of helpfulness included in this document based on their experience and expertise.

[pdf] VAWA Confidentiality and Breaches (2013) (+)

Battered immigrant women relay extremely sensitive and private information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS, formerly INS)3 when seeking immigration relief. A batterer in possession of any of this information might use it to locate the battered immigrant spouse and her children and harm them. If he becomes aware that she is seeking immigration status independently of him or planning on leaving him, he might try to seek revenge and might contact the immigration authorities in an attempt to undermine her case or have her deported. For these reasons, confidentiality rules can serve as a potentially lifesaving protection for the victim and her children. A manual of confidentiality and breaches of confidentiality.

[pdf] Chapter 17.2: Coverage for Forensic Costs for Immigrant crime Victims: Medical Coverage and Services (February 12, 2017) (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This is Chapter 17.2 of NIWAP’s manual “Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault”. It provides a detailed chart of the forensic examination laws, immigration-related eligibility requirements, and processes to receive payment for examination costs for each state. This information is current as of February 12, 2017. It is intended to provide an overview regarding health benefits and victim compensation for each state.

[pdf] Harvard 2018: Advocacy in Times of Crisis (+)

This panel at the Harvard Immigration Project Symposium covered how an immigrant crime victim’s ability to seek help or participate in the justice system can be impacted in times of increased immigration enforcement. It also discussed deportation and removal protections for crime victims and witnesses under laws such as VAWA Confidentiality and the ICE Courthouse […]


Table of Contents U-Visa “Helpfulness” Checklist CATEGORY: MANUAL DHS U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide Updated 11.30.15 Glossary of Terms for Work with Immigrant Survivors (November 15, 2017) U Visa Helpfulness Case Scenarios Collection of U-Visa News Articles Immigrant Crime Victims and U Visa Certification – What is it and Why Should Judges […]

[pdf] Representing Domestic Violence Survivors who are Experiencing Trauma and Other Mental Health Challenges: A Handbook for Attorneys (+)

This handbook for attorneys was created by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. In recent years, those who work with survivors of domestic violence have become
increasingly aware of the connection between trauma and domestic violence, as well as
other effects of domestic violence on a survivor’s mental health. This handbook aims to inform prosecutors who represent survivors with trauma or other mental health challenges.

[pdf] Self Care Tool (June 20, 2014) (+)

Self-care should be a preventive measure, and not
something one does when feeling completely overwhelmed. It is not always easy to take
care of ourselves; demands from work, family, and friends can relegate self-care to the
bottom of your “to-do” list. Self-care is particularly important for attorneys and advocates
that work closely with traumatized clients that have difficult stories to tell.

*Breaking Barriers Table of Contents

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to […]

[pdf] DHS Policies and Safety Planning Flowchart (+)

Flowchart describing safety planning for immigrant survivors and the benefits of initiating the victims immigration case before serving a perpetration in a family law or protection order case. The document also contains a list and links to Department of Homeland Security policies that foster victim protection from immigration enforcement and removal.

[pdf] Comparing Forms of Immigration Relief for Immigrant Victims of Crime (+)

This chart has been developed as a tool to help advocates, attorneys, judges, law enforcement and other professionals to promote a basic understanding of how various forms of immigration relief available to help immigrant crime victims and children differ. The chart compares eligibility requirements, access to employment authorization and lawful permanent residency, and the application process.

[pdf] Questions to Use for Crime Scene Identification of Limited English Proficient (LEP) (May 16, 2017) (+)

These are sample introductory questions that an officer can ask when meeting a person that is potentially LEP. They are based on scenarios that an officer will likely encounter during his or her patrol. The goal is to ask questions that are not related to information the officer may need to for a criminal case, that can build rapport with victims and witnesses and avoid yes/no questions helping officers assess the need for a qualified interpreter to help LEP persons communicate with law enforcement and promote accuracy of police reports and criminal investigations.

[pdf] Safety Planning With Survivors of Non-Intimate Partner Sexual Assault: Ten (10) Tips for Advocates and Lawyers (+)

The goal of safety planning is to help a survivor remain safe from the perpetrator and prevent future harm. Safety planning may also reduce sexual assault survivors’ overall fear and help restore their sense of autonomy and control; this can both empower victims and aid their healing. Safety planning with victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault is different than safety planning with victims of domestic violence in a variety of ways. For example, the majority of jurisdictions do not yet have civil protection orders for victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault. The survivor may not know the perpetrator’s name or address, or may know this but nothing more.

[pdf] Safety Planning with Adult Sexual Assault Survivors: A Guide for Advocates and Attorneys (+)

Whether it is a single incident or an ongoing pattern of abuse, sexual assault can undermine a victim’s physical and emotional safety. This guide is designed to help advocates and attorneys work with survivors of non-intimate partner sexual assault to identify potential threats and create a safety plan tailored to the individual’s needs and concerns. An effective safety plan empowers the victim to reclaim a sense of safety and security by addressing immediate safety needs and outlining strategies to help reduce future incidents of harm. Unfortunately, constructing and implementing a safety plan cannot ensure that an individual will not face violence again; its goal is to help survivors be as safe as possible given their current life circumstances.

[pdf] Cuestionario Historial de Trauma (+)

Ha continuación hay una serie de preguntas sobre eventos traumáticos de la vida. Estos tipos de eventos le ocurren regularmente a personas en la vida cotidiana aunque tratamos de creer que es rara la vez que suceden. La experiencia de un evento serio o traumático la manera en que una persona le afecta, siente, piensa, y reacciona a otras cosas ahora o en el futuro.

[pdf] U-Visa Legal Advocacy: Overview of Effective Policies and Practices (December 12, 2013) (+)

This policy brief provides an overview of successful collaborations that lead to improved access to U visa certification for immigrant crime victims. A review of the experiences reported by grantee organizations of the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Program, administered by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) found that successful collaborations with law enforcement agencies that grantees built over time, working on a range of domestic violence and sexual assault issue, led to more positive outcomes for immigrant survivors seeking U visa collaborations. This policy brief contains illustrations and recommendations for best practices for building sustainable collaborations that benefit law enforcement, immigrant victims, advocates, attorneys and the communities.

[pdf] Immigrant Crime Victims Legal Bibliography (+)

Bibliography of legal journal articles and legal publications related to the legal rights of immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking through 2013.

[pdf] Chapter 02: Interviewing and Safety Planning for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence (+)

This chapter will discuss the best ways for advocates and attorneys to communicate with battered immigrant clients. It will detail effective methods of identifying, interviewing, assisting, and ensuring the safety of domestic violence victims. It will teach advocates and attorneys how to interact with clients in a manner that diminishes the pain involved with discussing the abuse and how to be sensitive to cultural differences.

[pdf] Chapter 06.1: Countering Abuser’s Attempts to Raise Victim’s Immigration Status in Custody Cases (+)

This chapter is designed to help family lawyers prepare to counter attempts by abusers to raise immigration status in custody cases. Attorneys should be encouraged to use the information in this chapter to educate judges hearing custody cases about the fact that they should not consider immigration status in making custody decisions in the best interests of children. The contents of this chapter are written in a format that could be incorporated into a bench brief to a trial court in a custody matter or that would be included in materials for educating judges.

[pdf] Advocate’s Guide to Immigrant Survivors’ Rights and Protections (February 23, 2015) (+)

A guide for advocates and attorneys on immigrant survivors rights if they become the subject of immigration enforcement. This tool helps advocates providing advise to immigrant victims of domestic violence and sexual assault about steps both the immigrant crime victim and the advocate/attorney should take should the victim become the subject of an immigration enforcement action.

[pdf] Confidentiality and Immigrant Victims: Responsibilities of Shelters, Rape Crisis Centers and Victim Services Providers (July 6, 2012) (+)

Information regarding shelter victim confidentiality and how state immigration legislation may impact domestic violence and shelter programs’ ability to comply with confidentiality requirements under state and federal law.

[pdf] Somewhere to Turn (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics such as: domestic violence and battered immigrant issues, cultural competency training, cross-cultural interviewing, recruiting and hiring multilingual and multicultural staff, shelter protocols, outreach and community collaboration, shelter access for battered immigrant women, VAWA immigration cases and victim advocacy confidentiality, creative use of protection orders, protections orders enforcement and criminal prosecution, access to public benefits, verification and reporting requirements under the U.S. Attorney General’s guidance and order, and model programs.

[pdf] Women Immigrants and Domestic Violence (+)

Paper presented at a symposium convened by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars entitled Women’s Rights in Theory and Practice: Employment, Violence and Poverty, May 21-22, 2002. Discussing the demographics of immigrant women in the United States and the importance that services providers, advocates and attorneys learn how to provide culturally appropriate assistance to diverse immigrant victims, the significance of fear of deportation as a barrier, and the importance of identifying and working with survivors the continuum of violence immigrant survivors experience.

[pdf] The Roles of Culture, Context, and Legal Immigrant Status on Intimate Partner Violence (March, 2002) (+)

Intimate partner violence against immigrant women is at epidemic proportions, but research has only recently begun to address the concern. A review of the legal, medical, and social science research literature reveals little data, but that which exist demonstrate that immigrant women’s cultures, contexts, and legal status (a) increase vulnerability for abuse, (b) are used by batterers to control and abuse immigrant women, and (c) create barriers to women seeking and receiving help. Data also reveal that immigrant culture and context offer resiliency factors through which programs and policy can be used to better serve these populations.

[pdf] Improving Accessibility of Your Program’s Services to Battered Immigrant Women (+)

Lack of information about and access to services to assist battered women is one of the major obstacles battered immigrant women encounter when they consider fleeing a violent relationship. For immigrant women who do not speak English, communities without bilingual services are communities without any services. This tool outlines steps programs can take to improve accessibility of the program’s services for immigrant and limited English proficient survivors.