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Getting Help If You Are An Immigrant

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed August 2019

I don't speak English well. Can I get help in my own language?

Legal Services offices use interpreters. If you qualify free legal help through a legal services program, the program will help in your own language.

Shelters and programs for survivors of domestic violence also should get you an interpreter if you need one.

If you go to court, you have the right to an interpreter. Tell the court you need an interpreter. Ask for an interpreter as soon as you find out you are going to court.

The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK) serves individuals from all backgrounds with a special focus and expertise on working with Asian and Asian-American survivors. ATASK is a full-service organization that provides victim services, stabilization and advocacy, emergency shelter, and legal services in approximately 9 different Asian languages. 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.

If you are hearing impaired you can call the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 1-800-882-1155 (voice) or 1-800-530-7570 (tty) or review this state website for information about getting interpreters.

I am not a citizen of the United States. Who can I call with questions about immigration issues?

Talk to a lawyer. 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: 617-227-9727.

You can get information and referrals from the Massachusetts Immigrant And Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA);617-350-5480.

Talk to a lawyer before you contact the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS)

It is safe to look at the USCIS website for general information.


I am an immigrant and the person who is abusing 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 federal law, "Violence Against Women Act" (VAWA).

Talk to an immigration specialist.

Call one of the organizations listed 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.

Who to call for help

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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