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Abuse & Immigrants

Immigrants in the US have the right to live life free of abuse. But abusers can use a person's immigration status as another way to control them. This creates unique challenges for immigrants or refugees in abusive relationships.
Please be aware of the following warning signs:
  • Isolation: Preventing the victim from learning English. Refusing to let the victim communicating with friends or family. 
  • Threats: Threatening deportation or withdrawal of petitions for legal status.
  • Intimidation: Destroying legal documents or papers needed in this country. This could be passports, resident cards, health insurance or driver’s licenses. 
  • Manipulation About Citizenship or Residency: Withdrawing or not filing papers for residency. Threatening that the victim will lose citizenship or residency if they report the violence. (This isn't true!)
  • Economic Abuse: Getting the victim fired from their job. Calling employers and falsely reporting that the victim has no documents.
  • Children: Threatening to hurt children or take them away if the victim gets help.

Important to Remember

Domestic violence is against the law regardless of your immigration status! If you are in an abusive relationship and aren't sure what your rights are, give us a call. If you don't speak English, we have a Language Line that will interpret. We can help. Call 1.800.770.1650 or text 'iowahelp' to 20121. 

More Info

Read more about the legal rights available to immigrant victims of domestic violence in the US. Also, refer to