Seminar on Trauma, Resilience, and Mental Health Among Asylum-Seeking Survivors of Domestic Violence and Persecution by Organized Gangs

Survivors of domestic violence and violence perpetrated by organized gangs (G-DV) have faced multiple barriers to their asylum claims since passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. The Trump administration proposed changes that would further constrain the rights of G-DV survivors. This global health seminar will present evidence from a recent study conducted by Physicians for Human Rights, UCLA, Harvard, and George Washington University of trauma, resilience, and mental health among asylum seekers who obtained asylum in the U.S. on the basis of G-DV claims, and discuss how findings can inform the Biden administration’s ongoing immigration policy review.


  • Adam Richards, MD, PhD, MPH; Associate Professor, Department of Global Health; Member, Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network
  • Alberto M. Benítez, Professor of Clinical Law, GW Law
  • Katherine Mergen, Student, Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • Paulina Vera, Professorial Lecturer in Law, GW Law; Faculty Leader, GW Immigration Law Clinic