[pdf] Training Materials for Victim Advocates and Attorneys (11.28.23) (+)

Training materials for family lawyers, prosecutors, and state family, civil and criminal court judges assisting immigrant crime victims Topics include: U visas, T visas, Family Law cases, VAWA Self-Petitions, VAWA Confidentiality, Public Benefits, Best Practices, Language Access, Webinars, Podcasts and more.

[pdf] In The Matter of: Suyi Varquero-Cubias (April 5 2016) Board of Immigration Appeals) (+)

In The Matter of: Suyi Varquero-Cubias (April 5 2016) Board of Immigration Appeals. NIWAP, represented by Tahirih Justice Center and Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, participated filed this brief in a case of a battered immigrant from El Salvador who separated from her abusive boyfriend and her abuser continued to stalk, sexually assault, and threaten her for the next two years until she fled in fear of her life for the United States. The
Immigration Judge denied her asylum case based on the fact that she was not married to the abuser and that she had physically separated from her abuser. This amicus brief asked the Board of Immigration Appeals to clarify that divorce or a woman’s other attempts to separate are not dispositive of a woman’s
ability to leave the abusive relationship where she lacks the power to end the domestic relationship.
NIWAP provided social science research on separation violence and abusers power and control to
continue to perpetrate the post-separation coercive control, abuse and sexual violence supporting the victim’s
claim for gender based asylum.

[pdf] Rosen v. Ming Dai and Rosen v. Alcaraz (January 11 2021) Supreme Court of the United States (+)

Rosen v. Ming Dai and Rosen v. Alcaraz (January 11 2021) Supreme Court of the United States. NIWAP assisted Jenner &
Block LLP in developing and securing social science support in a brief filed to the Supreme Court of the
United States on the question of credible testimony. The brief explained the impact of trauma on memory
and ability to testify, other mental health conditions’ impact on memory and credibility, and credibility
compared to truth.

[pdf] Nicholson v. Williams NY State Court of Appeals (May 2004) (+)

Amicus submitted to the New York State Court of Appeals in support of battered women and their children in Nicholson v. Scoppetta. The Nicholson case is a class action suit against the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”) of New York City based on their policy and practice of presumptively removing children from battered mothers and charging them with neglect for “engaging in domestic violence.” Under the ACS policy, children are removed and women charged simply because the mothers are victims of domestic violence. The Nicholson case, comprised of over 20 class members, challenges the ACS policy on constitutional grounds. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has certified questions to the New York State Court of Appeals to assist in determining whether the policy is unconstitutional.

[pdf] Jane Doe v. Claire McIntire (August 10, 2001) Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (+)

Jane Doe v. Claire McIntire, App. No. 01-P-1013 (Mass.) (August 10, 2001) Amicus brief appealing a denial of
TANF benefits to two immigrant women lawfully residing in Massachusetts, the denial was based on six month
residence requirement before receiving benefits. One woman was fleeing domestic violence and the other residing
with family during pregnancy. (Foley, Hoag & Eliot, Pro Bono)

[pdf] Rosa Marisol Avelar Oliva Board of Immigration Appeals (February 16 2018) (+)

Amicus Brief in Matter of Rosa Marisol Avelar Oliva, NIWAP filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of an El Salvadorian woman who suffered child abuse and was held in isolation for years. The Immigration Judge found that she was not credible. The brief discussed the psychological and developmental effects of trauma and how childhood rape and sexual abuse can significantly impact witness’s demeanor and ability to testify and report the abuse. The brief addressed how childhood trauma impairs brain development in key regions responsible for memory, reasoning, and planning. The amicus was filed in the Board of Immigration Appeals in a case in which Rosa Marisol is seeking gender-based asylum and withholding of removal. Crowell and Moring (February 16, 2018)

[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] Gabriel Perez Cruz v. Barr, U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit (July 2 2020) (+)

Gabriel Perez Cruz v. Barr (2020) U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit. NIWAP assisted the Family Violence Appellate Project in California in developing, securing social science support for and national sign ons from 16 organizations nationally for this 9th Circuit Amicus Brief in which we were represented by Haney and Boone LLP. The brief discussed the mental health impact of domestic violence and coercive control in abusive relationships and perpetrators who coerce their victims into committing crimes, and the need for courts to consider these factors when adjudicating a domestic violence victim’s withholding of removal claims and particularly whether they crime they committed was a “particularly serious crime.” (July 2 2020).

[pdf] Chrismy Sagaille v. Christina Carrega, Supreme Court of New York (August 10 2020) (+)

Chrismy Sagaille v. Christina Carrega (2020) Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division. NIWAP assisted the National Women’s Law Center providing expertise on immigrant survivors’ experiences with sexual assault and signed on to an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division. This amicus was filed on behalf of a number of women’s groups protecting sexual assault survivors from retaliatory defamation suits by their named assailants. (August 10, 2020).

[pdf] BIA Amicus Invitation and Amicus 2016-0609 (September 1 2016) (+)

BIA Amicus Invitation 2016-0609 Amicus Curiae Brief of National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project and The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service submitted this amicus brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals discussing the brain development and neuroscience of how having experienced or witnessed trauma impacts the brain development of children and adolescents. The brief argues that in cases of child asylum applicants’ waivers of the one-year deadline based on extraordinary circumstances must be presumed for children under the age of 21. The brain science also supports waivers of the deadline for older youth in their 20s who can demonstrate based on the totality of the circumstances of their case and the impact of the trauma they suffered on their lives that they meet the extraordinarily circumstances test. (Crowell and Moring: September 1 2016)

[pdf] Pierre Salame Ajami v. Veronica Tescari Solano, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (April 19 2022) (+)

“Pierre Salame Ajami v. Veronica Tescari Solano” (6 th Circuit Court of Appeals) NIWAP filed an Amicus Brief in
a 6 th Circuit Court of Appeals case in which a Venezuelan mother who had been granted asylum in the United
States as a victim of domestic violence was ordered by the District Court in a Hague Convention case to return her
children who had also been granted asylum in the U.S. to their father in Venezuela. This appeal highlighted the
error of law that the District Court made in failing to consider the fact that the mother and children had been
deemed credible by DHS and granted asylum. The brief provided social science data demonstrated how the District
Court had also failed to consider the impact of trauma on testimony of domestic violence victims. NIWAP was
represented by DLA Piper and Crowell and Moring represented the victim mother in this case. (April 19, 2022)

[pdf] Herramienta para defensores y abogados para desarrollar la historia de un/a sobreviviente: Enfoque informado por el trauma. (Advocate’s and Attorney’s Tool for Developing a Survivor’s Story: Trauma Informed Approach – Spanish (4/24/23) (+)

La historia de un/a sobreviviente es uno de los elementos de prueba más importantes que se presentan con las solicitudes de visa VAWA, U y T, y por lo tanto estas solicitudes son diferentes a las demás solicitudes de inmigración. Esta es una oportunidad para que los funcionarios del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en inglés) oigan las palabras del/de la sobreviviente, en su propia voz. Al leer la historia del/de la sobreviviente, el lector — en última instancia, el funcionario de DHS — debe poder entender y sentir lo que sintió el/la sobreviviente después de haber sido sometido/a al abuso o victimización por la delincuencia.

[pdf] Trauma-Informado Cuestionario para Entrevistas para Casos de Inmigración (Spanish) Trauma Informed Structured Interview Questionnaires for Immigration Cases (SIQI) (24 Abril 2023) (+)

Los siguientes cuestionarios se proveen para facilitar la Entrevista estructurada informada por experiencias de trauma (SIQI, por sus siglas en inglés). Durante la sesión para formar la historia, se recomienda que el/la cliente comparta su historia sin interrupción mientras que los defensores y abogados escuchan atentamente, toman notas, y notan los desencadenantes de la victima. Esta técnica está diseñado para ser utilizada durante entrevistas subsecuentes con los clientes. Este Cuestionario de entrevista estructurada para casos de inmigración (SIQI) ayudará a los defensores y los abogados en obtener información detallada adicional para fortalecer los casos de inmigración de sus clientes, y también resultará en una imagen completa del trauma y la angustia sufridos por los sobrevivientes. Las preguntas incorporan el enfoque basado en el trauma a base de evidencias que los proveedores de atención en salud mental usan, y que la investigación en ciencias sociales ha concluido que facilita el saneamiento del/de la cliente.

[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] Advocate’s and Attorney’s Tool for Developing a Survivor’s Story: Trauma Informed Approach (April 27, 2023) (+)

A survivor’s story is one of the most important pieces of evidence submitted with the VAWA, U, and T visa applications, which makes them different from other immigration applications. This is an opportunity for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adjudicators to hear directly from the survivor, in his or her own voice. When reading the survivor’s story, the reader – ultimately, the DHS adjudicator – should be able to know and feel what the survivor felt after being subjected to abuse or crime victimization. The 2023 update includes questions to assess stalking behaviors and risk factors.

[pdf] Charles, St. Mary’s, Calvert Public Benefts Presentation (+)

This presentation provides an overview of dynamics and barriers immigrant survivors encounter. It also provides information on the full range of protections immigrant survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking are legally eligible to access. This training is specifically tailored to service providers to know how to assist immigrant and […]

[pdf] Slides: Trauma-Informed Care, Part 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Immigration Story Writing Intervention (March 19, 2014) (+)

This webinar builds on a previous broadcast “Trauma-Informed Care: Promoting Healing While Strengthening Survivors’ Immigration Case”, which introduced the process of immigration story writing intervention – a unique technique that couples (1) a trauma-focused writing exercise, shown to reduce the psychological impact of trauma exposure, with (2) a record of the survivor’s experience of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or other qualifying traumatic event that enhances the survivor’s evidence-based immigration relief application. All registrants should review Part I prior to the second broadcast. In this sequel, presenters will offer a tested and trauma sensitive tool, helpful resources, and effective strategies to facilitate the immigration story writing intervention. The focus will be on helping advocates obtain in-depth details from survivors, identify patterns of coercive control, and promote healing as they build stronger immigration relief applications.

[pdf] Slides from A Trauma Informed Approach to Attorney/Client Relationships and Collaborations: Strategies for Divorce, Custody, Protection Orders, and Immigration Cases (+)

These slides were presented by Mercedes V. Lorduy, Mary Ann Dutton, and Aparna Bhattacharyya at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.

[pdf] Trauma History Questionnaire (+)

The following is a series of questions about serious or traumatic life events. These types of events actually occur with some regularity, although we would like to believe they are rare, and they affect how people feel about, react to, and/or think about things subsequently. Knowing about the occurrence of such events, and reactions to them, will help us to develop programs for prevention, education, and other services. The questionnaire is divided into questions covering crime experiences, general disaster and trauma questions, and questions about physical and sexual experiences.

[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.