 Board of Immigration Appeals Certified Citizenship and Naturalization Services Arianny came to the United States in 2018. She was just 19 years old. She settled in the Boston area with her husband, who had petitioned on her behalf. However, within her first month in the States, her husband became abusive and Arianny divorced him. Arianny sought assistance in adjusting her legal status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). She finished her high school education in the Boston Public School system, secured a job, and moved to Lawrence to get away from her abusive ex-husband. In the spring of 2021, Arianny came to the Quintana Center seeking assistance with the Naturalization process. The Quintana Center’s Board of Immigration Appeals Certified staff was able to assist her in completing her N-400, and she was able to apply for citizenship due to her status under the VAWA. On December 13, 2021 Arianny passed the Citizenship Exam. Arianny is passionate about nursing and had worked as a nurse in the Dominican Republic. Having achieved her citizenship, her next goal is to attend college to study nursing. Abuse rates among immigrant women are as high as 49.8%. This is almost 3X the national average National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233 The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) provides noncitizens who have been abused by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative the ability to independently selfpetition for immigrant classification without the abuser’s knowledge, consent, or participation in the immigration process. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abusers. LAWRENCE PROSPERA FY’2021–2022 ANNUAL REPORT PAGE 13

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