For my client, it took her from feeling lost and forgotten, to feeling like she had a purpose and a place in this world. – A DCVLP volunteer lawyer on on representing her child-client
I’m just a regular person, and I believe regular people should take a stand against domestic violence. We need to add our voices in support of survivors. And so, I do.
A DCVLP volunteer lawyer on representing victims in court
Civil Protection Orders (CPOs or “stay-away” orders) are many survivors’ first step in seeking safety form abuse. DCVLP volunteer attorneys help survivors achieve safety and stability in their lives by CPOs against their abusers, which can include relief such as ordering the abuser not to harm or harass the victim, granting temporary custody and child support to the victim, and ordering the abuser to obtain counseling for domestic violence or drug abuse.
On average, it takes a domestic violence survivor seven tries to leave her abuser for good. Many clients have already obtained temporary relief through a civil protection order, and are seeking more lasting separation. DCVLP volunteer attorneys advocate for survivors by helping them obtain permanent divorce or custody arrangement that will protect the clients and their children from further harm.
Judges appoint DCVLP volunteer attorneys as Guardians ad litem to represent the best interests of children living with abuse, neglect, domestic violence and other dangers to help ensure they grow up in safe and stable homes. DCVLP’s Guardian ad litem volunteers investigate, review reports, interview parties and witnesses, negotiate with other parties, and make recommendations for custody and social services.
Abusers often use immigration status to control survivors and prevent them from leaving. DCVLP volunteer attorneys empower survivors with knowledge about their rights, and provide assistance in seeking immigration relief without their abusers’ knowledge or consent.