For survivors of gender violence, the safety of their children is always their priority. Unfortunately, abusive partners often try to turn this love against survivors — using custody, visitation and support battles to retain control over their former partners.
Sanctuary’s attorneys can advise and represent survivors of gender violence seeking child custody and support, or cases concerning child visitation rights.
Divorcing an abusive spouse can be one of the most liberating moments for a survivor of domestic violence. For many, divorce allows them to reclaim their pre-abuse identity and empowers them by cutting any remaining ties to their abusive past. In some cases, it also offers survivors a chance at obtaining much-needed financial relief through the distribution of marital assets and/or maintenance.
Sanctuary’s attorneys can advise and represent survivors seeking contested, uncontested, or publication divorces.
No matter what path a survivor takes to leave an abusive partner, that path is made more difficult if they and their children do not have resources to meet their basic needs—food, medical care, and safe and permanent housing.
Staff attorneys with expertise in public benefits and housing rights ensure that families are stable in the short term, so that they can achieve independence and permanent freedom from violence in the long term.
Immigration status is often a barrier to families escaping and seeking to overcome violence. Our immigration attorneys help gender violence survivors prevail over these challenges by working with them to secure and maintain lawful immigration status and obtain U.S. citizenship.
Sanctuary’s attorneys assist with the full spectrum of immigration applications and defenses for which survivors and their families are eligible, including:
- Humanitarian waiver applications
- Violence Against Women Act self-petitions
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases
- Asylum applications
- Cancellation of removal
An Order of Protection is often the first line of defense for a survivor of gender violence. While an attorney is not necessary when securing an Order of Protection, the process can often be confusing and overwhelming.
Sanctuary attorneys and pro bono partners can guide survivors through the process of securing an Order of Protection and represent them in cases that are contested.
For many college student survivors of sexual assault, their trauma is often compounded by the experience of attempting to navigate complex school policies and laws.
Sanctuary attorneys and pro bono partners can provide legal consultations and representation to student survivors of gender-based violence, including sexual violence. Services are offered to students considering the Title IX process, the criminal/civil justice system, or seeking advice regarding their legal options.
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