Responding to Immigrant Sexual and Domestic Violence Survivors Part I: Legal Rights to Access Health Care, Public Benefits, and Family Law Protections

When immigrant survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence begin the process of filing for victim-based protections under U.S. immigration laws, their ability to access publicly funded benefits and services expands. Health care providers can often be the first and sometimes to only professionals immigrant survivors encounter who use qualified interpreters and are in the position to safely inform them about the legal protections available to them as survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in the United States including the special protections for immigrant survivors. Best practices are employed when SANE nurses, health care providers, victim advocates and professionals working with immigrant sexual and domestic violence survivors know how to quickly access legally correct information on which federal and state funded public benefits and services immigrant sexual and domestic violence survivors are eligible to receive.

This webinar will provide forensic nurses, health care providers, and victim advocate attendees with detailed information on the full range of publicly funded benefits and services immigrant sexual and domestic violence survivors can access in their states. Some publicly funded benefits and services are open to all immigrants without regard to immigration status. Since public benefits and subsidized health care access expands for immigrant survivors who apply for victim-based immigration relief, participants will learn how to identify immigration relief eligible survivors. Public benefits eligibility varies by state, by form of immigration case, whether the victim is an adult or a child, and the type of benefit the victim is seeking. To support participants’ work with immigrant survivors the webinar will demonstrate how participants can use NIWAP’s new online benefits map and state-by-state charts. The webinar will conclude a brief overview addressing key facts participants need to know about immigrant survivors’ legal rights to obtain civil protection orders, custody of children, and child support. Webinar participants will receive links to tools and resources in the NIWAP on-line library on each of the topics discussed in this webinar.

Leslye E. Orloff and Rafaela Rodrigues


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