"Although the number of applications for VAWA status has increased, winning a VAWA self-petition is only the first step in achieving safety and independence. To gain lawful permanent residence, applicants must overcome additional legal barriers. The complicated phases of applying for immigration status coupled with the passage of VAWA 2000 have created new questions and the need for greater expertise."
Realities described include, lack of knowledge/misinformation about the legal system, fear of police and judicial systems, fear of deportation, fear the abuser will be removed, language and gender barriers, as well as cultural, religious, and economic barriers.
The Overview of the Immigration System and Laws includes detailed information about basic immigration rules, rights of immigrants, general concepts and terms, and options & processes for gaining permanent residence.