Born male in El Salvador, Barbara was abused throughout her childhood by family, neighbors, and classmates because she was “too feminine.” When Barbara turned 18, she began to live as a woman, but she still suffered frequent harassment and violence.
In one instance, Barbara and her boyfriend were viciously beaten outside of a club. Barbara was kidnapped and taken to an isolated area where she was physically and sexually assaulted. After the kidnapping and assault, Barbara lived in constant fear, and finally fled to the U.S.
She applied for a visa, but her application was denied. Her case manager at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center put Barbara in touch with NCLR. With NCLR’s help and the expertise of pro bono Chelsea Haley-Nelson, Barbara successfully secured asylum in September 2008.