How do I show that I suffered “substantial harm”?
One of the requirements to get a U visa is that you must show you suffered substantial physical or mental harm as a result of the crime.1 USCIS will consider several factors when deciding whether the harm was “substantial,” including any permanent or serious harm to your appearance, health, or physical or mental well-being.1 You can show this through your personal statement and through supporting evidence, such as medical reports, declarations from mental health providers, and statements from professionals or friends or family who have helped you since the crime. For example, one thing your therapist can discuss in his/her declaration is the connection between the crime and the harm you are suffering, especially if it is too hard for you to provide details in your own declaration.
You should work with your attorney and with a crime victim advocate on how to best show that you suffered substantial harm.
1 8 CFR § 214.14(b)(1)
2 INA § 101(a)(15)(U)(i)(I)