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Domestic Violence Victims Protected Under Asylum Law


This week, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a landmark ruling, Matter of A-R-C-G, recognizing domestic violence survivors as a particular social group under American asylum law. The decision expands the domestic violence social group and clarifies the state of the law for other people seeking refuge in the United States when their governments cannot or will not help them.

The respondent in A-R-C-G- was a Guatemalan woman who had suffered more than 14 years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband. Despite regular abuse and sexual assaults, the police refused to intervene in “marital” matters such as this abusive relationship. The decision marks an advance for domestic violence survivors seeking to leave their abusive marriages when countries, such as Guatemala, fail to protect them.


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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.