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The Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 to address the obstacles battered immigrant women face in obtaining lawful permanent residency. VAWA allows an abused woman to self-petition for legal status, circumventing the mandate that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (who must be an immediate relative) file a petition for permanent residency on an immigrant's behalf.

Volunteers with VLSP's VAWA project assist battered immigrant women in filing VAWA petitions. In return for free MCLE-accredited training, volunteers are requested to assist with two VAWA cases per year.

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