The Violence Against Women Act –VAWA, provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act allow certain spouses, children, and parents of US Citizens and Permanent Residents = Green Card holders, who have been abused, to file or petition for themselves without the abusers knowledge. This is an effort to assist the victim seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified of the filing.
NOTE: VAWA provisions apply to both men and women. So if you are a man who has suffered abuse from a US Citizen or Permanent Resident spouse, you may invoke the provisions of this law.
Those Who Qualify
v A Spouse who was abused or is being abused by a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, may file for his/herself. You may also include your unmarried child under 21 years of age,
v A Parent who was abused or is being abused by a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, may file for his/herself.
v A Child under 21 years who has, or is being abused by your US Citizen of Permanent Resident parent may file for his or herself. Even after 21 years you may still file if the abuse was the reason for your delay, but must be done before the age of 25 years.