VAWA Economic Empowerment Project (VEEP)

Access, Inc.‘s  VEEP empowers low income, Spanish and Mixtec speaking immigrant victims of domestic violence in San Diego County who qualify for VAWA relief. Immigrant victims of domestic violence face unique challenges in securing financial independence from their abusers. Through a 5-8 week course, participants learn forms of domestic violence including economic abuse and ways to protect themselves under the law and how to access local resources.

“A woman from Mexico was physically and verbally abused for eight years by her U.S. citizen spouse. She tried to leave but found out that she could not rent because she lacked a credit history and proper identification to open a bank account.  She learned that she could stay at a domestic violence shelter and get a protective order to protect herself and her child and that she qualified to legalize her status as a victim of battery and extreme cruelty.  Looking back , she said “For the first time in years, I can finally breathe.  I realize now that I was not really living and I now want to help other women like me.”