Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Certain spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may apply for lawful permanent residence if they were subject to extreme cruelty or battery by the spouse or parent, and may do so independent of their abusive spouse's or parent's alien relative petition. The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, and among others, provided $1.6 billion to enhance investigation and prosecution of the violent crime perpetrated against women. This law has been drafted by then Senator Biden's (U.S. Vice President) and has been described as "the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades." It was last reauthorized by the U.S. Congress in December 2005, and signed into law by President Bush in January 2006.

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