A Word from Mark
Dear Friends of WTLC,
What is the new “public charge” rule and how does it impact survivors?

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced a rule that would expand the current public charge policies used to determine whether an individual can obtain legal permanent residence in the United States. The new rule will make it difficult for certain immigrants to obtain a Green Card if they have used a range of public benefits. Those who are deemed to be a “public charge” will be prohibited from becoming a permanent resident.

Although the public charge test will not be applied to immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, we are concerned about the impact that the proposed rule will have on survivors. Without proper assistance to inform them of their exclusion from the test, survivors will most likely assume that accessing benefits for themselves and/or their children will jeopardize their application for legal status.

This is a serious concern because many survivors and their children are dependent on their abusive partner for food, healthcare, and housing. In addition, people who cause harm often misinform and isolate survivors, making them unaware of legal support and protections available to them. As a result, survivors will not seek relief services for fear of triggering the public charge bar. This sets them up for a difficult choice – either forego basic need services and continue to stay in the abusive situation or face deportation.

At WTLC, we will do our best to educate and provide accurate information about what the new rule means and who is impacted. We will do our best to guide survivors and their children to adequate resources and access to services so that they can maintain their overall wellness and safety. 

With Appreciation,

Finding Freedom After Violation
Jane eagerly awaits her appointment with her legal advocate. During her session, her advocate explains what to expect during her upcoming date in court and helps her prepare to confront the person who has caused her so much harm, finally putting a stop to his harassment. Before the appointment ends, Jane’s advocate offers to accompany her to court and tells her that WTLC can also help with her U visa application.

The news brings a smile to Jane’s face, and she shares that she is relieved that someone is finally listening to her. 

For the past three years, Jane had been the subject of multiple forms of abuse, including cyber, sexual, and emotional. On multiple occasions, her partner John would drug her and take pictures of her without her consent. He would then use these photos as a form of leverage against her. Jane finally gained the courage to bring the abuse to the authorities’ attention after John retaliated against her for leaving him, reporting her to ICE and publishing her intimate photos online without her permission. While at the police station, law enforcement directed Jane to community services, who helped her file for a temporary restraining order and directed her to WTLC for further support.
Substance Misuse and Domestic Violence
Substance use does not cause intimate partner violence. Not all people who cause harm in a relationship use drugs or alcohol, and not all people who use drugs or alcohol cause harm in their relationships. However, there is a correlation between substance misuse and intimate partner violence (IPV), both of which are public health concerns that impact the lives of adults and children around the country.

In fact, various studies noted by the American Society of Addiction Medicine identified substance abuse as a factor in perpetrating or exacerbating domestic violence 40-60% of the time. Additionally, when alcohol or drug use was involved in a violent situation, physical violence was 11 times as likely to occur as in cases where it was not present.
Thank you, Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund for your ongoing support of our Legal Advocacy program! You help ensure survivors in our community have access to support in all their legal needs--from divorce and child custody to immigration and restraining orders.
1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience domestic violence during their lifetime. Make your voice heard this Domestic Violence Awareness Month at our second annual 3/4 Time Dueling Pianos Event as we sing together and call for an end to domestic violence in our community.

Join us on October 24th!
RSVP Event Space
114 E. Amerige Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
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