top of page
  • Writer's picture

Trapped in an Abusive Marriage: Seeking Help When You Overstayed and Married for a Green Card

Your situation is incredibly difficult and heartbreaking. Being trapped in an abusive marriage while facing immigration concerns is a complex problem, but you are not alone. There are options for seeking help and securing your safety, even if you overstayed your visa and entered into a marriage for immigration purposes.

Seeking Help When You Overstayed and Married for a Green Card

This article aims to provide guidance on seeking assistance in such circumstances, emphasizing the importance of addressing both the domestic violence and immigration aspects of your situation.

Addressing the Abuse:

  • Immediate Safety Measures: If you are in immediate danger, prioritize your safety. Contact local law enforcement or a domestic violence hotline to seek emergency assistance. Your safety should always be the top priority, and law enforcement agencies are equipped to handle situations involving domestic violence.

  • Reach Out to Support Networks: Confide in trusted friends, family members, or colleagues about your situation. Having a support system is crucial during difficult times, and these individuals can provide emotional support as well as practical assistance.

  • Your safety is paramount: Reach out to a domestic violence hotline immediately. These organizations provide confidential support and can help you find safe housing, legal assistance, and emotional support. Here are some resources:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

  • National Network to End Domestic Violence:

  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • File a police report: Documenting the abuse is crucial for your own protection and can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

  • Document the Abuse: Keep a detailed record of incidents of abuse, including dates, times, and descriptions of what occurred. Documenting the abuse can be crucial when seeking legal assistance or applying for immigration r

Immigration Concerns:

  • You are not alone: Many immigrants find themselves in abusive marriages due to immigration vulnerabilities. Remember, immigration status should never prevent you from seeking help from abuse.

  • You have options: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides a path to legal status for immigrant victims of domestic violence. You can self-petition for a green card without your abuser’s knowledge or cooperation.

  • Seek legal counsel: An immigration attorney specializing in VAWA can advise you on your specific situation and guide you through the legal process. They can help you gather evidence, file the necessary forms, and represent you in court.


  • You are not responsible for the abuse. You deserve to live in safety and security.

  • Seeking help is a brave and necessary step. It can be challenging, but you are not alone, and there are resources available to support you.

  • Focus on your safety first. There are options for securing legal status even after leaving the abusive situation.

Additional Resources:

Experiencing physical abuse while navigating immigration challenges can be overwhelming, but it's important to know that help is available. Prioritize your safety, reach out to support networks, consult with domestic violence organizations, and seek legal assistance. The combination of addressing the domestic violence and immigration aspects of your situation can pave the way for a safer and more secure future. Remember that you are not alone, and there are resources and professionals ready to assist you in your journey towards safety and well-being.


bottom of page