Our Clients

Domestic Violence Victims & At-Risk Children


– A domestic violence survivor and DCVLP client

Christine’s Escape

Joseph tightly controlled Christine’s every movement. He tracked her location by phone, checked her social media postings daily, and scrolled through her phone each night. When Christine changed her phone password, he became enraged and punched her in the face, breaking her glasses. After she fled to bathroom, he grabbed a knife and threatened to cut her in front of their two young children. He then choked her until she passed out.

Christine felt powerless. She had no where to go with a toddler and a baby and did not know how to make Joseph leave since only his name was on the lease. After more than a year of escalating violence, Christine decided she needed to protect her children despite her fears of becoming homeless and came to our Domestic Violence Resource Clinic for help. After hearing her story, we took her case and assigned an experienced pair of volunteer attorneys to represent her in court. Christine’s case was difficult as Joseph had also filed a protection order against her falsely claiming she was the violent one. With DCVLP attorneys by her side, a trembling Christine was able to testify about his abuse.

The judge agreed with Christine and granted her a protection order along with full custody of the children. He completely denied Joseph’s request.

During the case, DCVLP’s Client Advocate guided Christine through the the housing process where she eventually obtained a housing voucher in her own name. She also connected the toddler to a counselor specializing in young children affected by trauma. Today, Christine and her two boys are living in their own apartment and thriving.

Sara’s Sisters: Finding Safe and Stable Homes

Sarah was the primary caretaker of two of her three younger sisters throughout their mother’s 2-year battle with cancer. Their mom was a longtime drug addict and had a history of abuse and neglect. The girls’ father, blind and incapacitated, was living with a court-appointed guardian. The third sister was living with a neighbor. After their mother died, their oldest brother Charles filed for custody even though he had been physically abusive to them. The judge at a loss as to what to do and appointed two DCVLP volunteer attorneys to represent the girls.

After meeting with family, social workers and teachers, the DCVLP attorneys discovered that while the oldest sister was doing fairly with the neighbor, the middle sister had been expelled from school after assaulting another student and the youngest child had become isolated and withdrawn. The DCVLP attorneys helped enroll the two youngest sisters at a charter school near where Sarah worked and connected the girls with a school social worker, a psychiatrist and assistance with transportation to and from school.

With these support systems in place, the girls have been regularly attending school. The attorneys also helped the girls get in touch with grief counseling services. Our Client Advocate referred Sarah to assistance with applying for public benefits and obtaining stable housing. In line the DCVLP attorneys’ recommendation to the judge, Sarah now has a permanent custody of her two youngest siblings, and the neighbor has custody of the third sister, who is doing well at a new school, tutoring younger students and playing basketball.

Names and identifying details have been changed to protect client privacy. Images are stock photos.