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National Programs

We are supporting survivors of violence through

direct services

Since 1997, Tahirih has answered more than 34,000 calls for help from immigrant survivors fleeing gender-based violence, providing the free legal services needed to achieve the immigration status to which survivors are entitled under U.S. law and vital social services so they can rebuild their lives.

In 2023, we:

  • Provided free legal services to 1,685 immigrant survivors and 1,094 of their family members.
  • Connected 401 clients and their family members with vital social services, including emergency shelter, food and clothing, and health care.
  • Mobilized 1,192 attorneys in our Pro Bono Network to leverage donated resources and maximize our capacity.
Eight women of different ethnicities smiling in a conference room holding laptops.

Tahirih staff prepare laptops donated by TechR2 to be sent out to clients and their families.

Five people around a table in an office hallway packaging donation materials

Volunteers from Panasonic Atlanta visited the Tahirih Atlanta office to prepare client care packages.

Individuals Impacted Through Free Legal Services in 2023

In 2023 Tahirih served 2,779 total individuals and family members. 1,409 individuals provided direct representation. 276 individuals provided brief advice and counsel (1,685 subtotal). 759 family members also impacted through direct representation, 335 family members also impacted through brief advice and counsel (1,094 subtotal).
90% of Tahirih cases were closed successfully in 2023 as defined by Tahirih clients and their advocate teams

Today, I feel blessed. My son is safe, I have a good job and we have a community to count on. My life experiences have shown me that after the storm there’s calm.

Anastasia, Tahirih client

Our Clients

In 2023, the top five countries of origin for our clients were:
  1. Honduras
  2. El Salvador
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Mexico
  5. Guatemala
2023 world map showing 71% of Tahirih clients clients came from Latin America, 18% from Asia, 7% from Sub-Saharan Africa, 2% from the Middle East and North Africa, 1% from the Caribbean, 1% from Europe and 0% from Other.
While many of our clients experienced violence in their countries of origin,
Young Black woman with thoughtful expression
experience abuse and exploitation after coming to the U.S.

Types of Immigration Protections in 2023

Pie chart showing 1,685 total people served

39% Asylum for survivors fleeing persecution in home country

33% U visa for survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or violent crime who assist law enforcement

9% Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) relief for survivors of domestic violence inflicted by spouse or parent

7% T visa for survivors of human trafficking

2% Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for survivors of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect

9% Permanent Residency by receipt of green card

1% Other

We are enabling communities to meet the needs of survivors through

community outreach and training

Tahirih’s outreach programs provide thousands of frontline professionals and community members with an understanding of unique obstacles that immigrant survivors face in the wake of violence, as well as the essential tools needed to help.

In 2023, we:

  • Engaged 10,675 professionals in outreach and training.
  • Organized a series of webinars and monthly office hours on trauma-informed lawyering through our Office of Violence Against Women Training & Technical Assistance grant.
  • Presented on the Unique and Complex Challenges in Safety Planning for Survivors of Sexual Assault at the National Sexual Assault Conference.
  • Launched a national training series of webinars through our Forced Marriage Initiative to educate service providers, advocates, and other professionals across the country to grow the network of providers skilled at recognizing and supporting the unique needs of forced marriage survivors.
Two women standing in front of a presentation screen with title "The Unique and Complex Challenges of Creating Safety Alongside Immigrant Survivors of Sexual Assault"

Tahirih Director of Public Policy Casey Carter Swegman and Bay Area Managing Attorney Payal Sinha presented at the National Sexual Assault Conference on the challenges of safety planning for survivors of sexual assault.

Four women stand in front of a table with Tahirih materials and rainbow LGBTQ+ supportive materials

Tahirih Houston staff celebrated Pride month at the Montrose Center Community Pride Celebration and presented information to the community about our free legal and social services for immigrant survivors, including LGBTQIA+ survivors.

Two women standing in front of presentation screen for the Baltimore Immigration Summit

Tahirih Baltimore Managing Attorney Daniella Prieshoff and Sr. Social Services Advocate Feamma Stephens presented a training at the Baltimore Immigration Summit on trauma-informed and client-centered approaches to working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Woman and man stand at the front of the room with presentation of asylum topics. Mixed audience listens.

In March, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs invited Tahirih Atlanta to present to their team on Tahirih’s mission and services.

What inspires me most is the courage, resolve, and tenacity of the brave survivors whom I work with. These women and mothers remain steadfast in their quest for a better life for themselves and their family.

Rwanda Campbell, Tahirih Board member, Arnold & Porter LLP

We are fostering lasting change through

nonpartisan policy advocacy

Tahirih’s policy team amplifies the experiences of immigrant survivors in communities, courts, and Congress to bring about systemic change, ensuring that laws and policies protect survivors from violence and exploitation.

In 2023, we:

  • Opposed the implementation of the asylum ban, including joining a coalition of thousands of advocates to submit public comments in opposition and filing a lawsuit alongside other immigrant rights organizations to have this harmful policy overturned.
  • Won a lawsuit against USCIS for delays in scheduling interviews for long-pending affirmative asylum claims, allowing 17 Tahirih clients who have waited at least five years to finally proceed with their asylum interviews.
  • Advocated with legislators to promote protections for immigrant survivors by helping to lead immigrant survivor-focused appropriations asks as part of a national coalition.
  • Advised administration staff on how to enhance protections for survivors, including advocating with the Department of Homeland Security Council on Combatting Gender-based Violence to promote accountability and coordination on survivor-related policy implementation, and meeting with USCIS to provide expert feedback on the new HART Service Center focused on humanitarian relief immigration claims.
  • Advocated for the introduction of the Working for Immigrant Safety and Empowerment Act (WISE) in the House of Representatives, legislation that now has over 30 co-sponsors in the House and is likely to have a companion bill introduced in the Senate.
  • Fought back against harmful deterrence-based policy proposals that would gut the asylum system and hamper other humanitarian relief programs that survivors need to access safety and justice and rallied the movement to end gender-based violence against these attacks.
Three women stand in large hallway with stone pillars and American flag and Executive Office flag on either side.

Alongside co-chairs of the Alliance for Immigrant Survivors (AIS), Tahirih’s Director of Public Policy Casey Carter Swegman delivered a letter opposing the proposed asylum ban to the White House in March.

Woman speaks into microphone at podium in front of presentation screen.

Tahirih Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement Maricarmen Garza traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in May as part of a humanitarian delegation to bear witness to the end of Title 42 and the devastating impact of the asylum ban.

Four women stand in front of presentation screen with The White House displayed and American flag to the side.

Tahirih Director of Public Policy Casey Carter Swegman (pictured far left) attended the release of the first-ever U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action at the White House, which included research by Tahirih on child marriage.

Five women on a panel in front of a photo of the U.S. Capitol building listen to another woman speak with a microphone.

Tahirih Director of Public Policy Casey Carter Swegman spoke at a congressional briefing on the Working for Immigrant Safety and Empowerment (WISE) Act, alongside our partners from the Alliance for Immigrant Survivors and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

We are working to end

forced and child marriage in the united states

In 2023, we:

  • Provided direct services to 80 clients and expert technical assistance impacting 200 individuals across the U.S. and abroad.
  • Equipped 1,312 advocates, allies, service providers, and other frontline professionals with critical tools to identify forced marriage and protect victims.
  • Supported the passage of state laws to limit or end child marriage in six states, including three states that ended child marriage entirely: Vermont, Connecticut, and Michigan. Michigan’s new law makes it the 10th state to end child marriage completely.
  • Worked with Senate Judiciary committee staff to draft legislation to address child marriage through the immigration system and incentivize states to end child marriage.
  • Coordinated with our Baltimore office team to successfully support the passage of legislation in Maryland repealing the spousal defense for sexual assault.
  • Led a campaign in California, in collaboration with our San Francisco Bay Area office, to successfully oppose legislation that would have criminalized ‘unauthorized’ child marriages without preventing harm to minors.
  • Facilitated a training in partnership with Sanctuary for Families to the ABA International Family Law Committee: Forced and Child Marriage in the U.S. and Beyond, the Role of Family Law Attorneys in Prevention and Response.
Two women in front of a presentation screen with title "Identifying and Responding to Forced and Child Marriage in Texas"

Our Forced Marriage Initiative Project Manager Hellitz Villegas and Project Associate Briana Roberts presented to the Department of Family and Protective Services Light the Way End Human Trafficking Summit in Dallas, Texas.

Row of smiling people in front of a Tahirih Justice Center wall logo

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, our Co-Director of Client Advocacy, Adriana López, and our Forced Marriage Initiative Program Associate, Briana Roberts, hosted a delegation from Kyrgyz Republic to discuss Tahirih’s work in the U.S. with immigrant survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and our efforts to end child and forced marriage.

I can’t forget our adventure in 2019 to get my green card replacement and I can’t forget the support you gave me. Without the Forced Marriage Initiative, I wouldn’t have reached this milestone of becoming a U.S. citizen. I’m so grateful.

Shahad, Tahirih client