I don't speak English well. Can I get help in my own language?
If you speak Spanish, you can read this guide online in Spanish.
Legal Services offices use interpreters. If you can get free legal help you should get that help in your own language. Shelters and programs for battered women also should get you an interpreter if you need one.
If you go to court, you have the right to an interpreter. You need to tell the court that you need an interpreter. You need to ask for an interpreter as soon as you find out you are going to court.
If you are an Asian woman and you have been abused, there is a special project called the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence. There are offices in Boston and Lowell. The phone number for general calls is 617-338-2350 and for the hotline it is 617-338-2355. This project provides services in several Asian languages.
If you are hearing impaired you can call the Mass. Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Boston at 1-800-882-1155 (voice) or 1-800-530-7570 (tty) for information about getting interpreters.
Immigration law is a complex area of law. We cannot answer general immigration questions in this guide.
Talk to a lawyer before contacting the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). You can safely look at the USCIS website for general information.
You may be able to get free legal services to help you with immigration issues. You can call the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild at 617-227-9727.' MetroWest Legal Services can also help. You can contact MetroWest at 508-620-1830 or 1-800-696-1501.
You can get information and referrals from the Massachusetts Immigrant And Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). Their phone number is 617-350-5480.
I am an immigrant and the person who is battering me is the one who is supposed to help me get my immigration status. Is there special help for me?
Yes. Immigrant survivors of domestic violence have rights under a federal law called the "Violence Against Women Act." You should talk to an immigration specialist. Call one of the organizations listed above in Who can I call with questions about immigration issues? They may be able to help you file for immigration status under the Violence Against Women Act.