VAWA for Men

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is often understood as an option exclusively to protect women from domestic violence and abuse. However, VAWA is inclusive and applies to all victims of domestic violence, including men. This article goes into how male victims of abuse can utilize VAWA to file a petition for themselves to provide a safe and legal pathway to residency in the United States.

VAWA’s Scope and Purpose

VAWA was enacted to protect victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The act offers legal avenues for victims to seek relief without the sponsorship of their abusers, which is crucial for those who are controlled or manipulated as part of their abuse.

Eligibility for Male Victims Under VAWA

  1. Victim of Abuse: The petitioner must demonstrate that they have been a victim of domestic violence or extreme cruelty at the hands of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or adult child.
  2. Residence with the Abuser: There must be evidence that the petitioner lived with the abuser at some point.
  3. Good Moral Character: The petitioner should provide evidence of good moral character, generally covering the period leading up to the petition.

The Process of Filing a VAWA Petition

  • Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant: This form is used by victims to file a self-petition under VAWA. It can be filed without the abuser’s knowledge or assistance, maintaining the applicant’s confidentiality.
  • Supporting Evidence: Documentation to support the claims of abuse includes police reports, court records, medical records, therapy records, affidavits from friends, family, or social workers, and any other relevant evidence.
  • Filing and Waiting: Once the petition is filed, the applicant can also apply for work authorization while waiting for its approval.

Legal and Social Support Services

Men facing domestic abuse can feel isolated due to social stigmas around male victimization. It’s essential to seek support from organizations that provide resources and guidance for all victims of abuse. Legal aid societies, local non-profits, and specialized attorneys can assist in the VAWA petition process.


VAWA’s protection is not limited by gender; it is a critical tool for all individuals experiencing abuse. Men who are victims of domestic violence have the right and means to seek help and legal protection under VAWA. Working with a qualified immigration lawyer can help you obtain benefits under VAWA.

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We Can Help!

You may have questions regarding the requirements for men under VAWA. We invite you to contact our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. We aim to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today to assess your legal situation.

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