WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Federal


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Laws current as of
December 17, 2020

Is being a woman enough to prove I am part of a "particular social group?"

In order to prove membership in a “particular social group,” it is important to know that our asylum system does not yet acknowledge “women” and “gender” as “social groups.” Instead, victims of abuse must show they are in a smaller “social group” than just women; but our asylum system keeps changing its mind on what people must show to be in a “social group.” This makes it very hard to do an asylum application on your own, and it is one reason why you must work with an attorney who is up-to-date on the latest government policies and federal cases. It is also why you may want to talk to your lawyer about whether you were abused or raped because of, for instance, your “political opinion” that the abuser did not have the right to control you. Even if you can show this, however, you will have to show:

  • how you made that opinion clear;
  • that this is why you were abused or sexually assaulted; and
  • that your government would not or could not protect you. Note: This last requirement is an example of a requirement that was added by our government and is not in the statute.