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Domestic Violence Response

July 27, 2016

Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors has been serving low-income refugees and immigrants throughout Iowa for more than fourteen years. JFON lawyers currently hold monthly clinics in Columbus Junction as well several other locations throughout Iowa in Storm Lake, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ottumwa, and Decorah. Our United Methodist churches contributed $2,750 in Southeast District Askings toward the ministries of JFON in 2015.

JFON provides a wide range of immigration legal services, including support for victims of domestic violence.Laura+Mendoza Laura Mendoza, a JFON staff member who specializes in such cases, recently shared the story of one survivor. A quiet, very deeply religious man originally from Guatemala reported to her that his wife, who is a legal permanent resident, was abusive to him. The bruises on his face showed physical evidence of his abuse, but the emotional humiliation he experienced had an even deeper effect on his health.

The client was referred to a domestic violence counselor, and JFON assisted him in successfully applying for a work permit in order to escape the unhealthy environment of his household. Although the immigration process is slow, he will be able to apply for his legal residency in a few years. Eventually, he hopes to apply for his naturalization and become a U.S. citizen.

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