Protection Orders: In one of the first steps in breaking the cycle of violence, DCVLP lawyers represent victims in obtaining CPOs ordering their abusers to stay away. To further safeguard the victim and her children, we request child custody and support, safe visitation arrangements, and restitution. We may also request the removal of the abuser from the home to protect the family from becoming homeless.
Family Law: To maximize thelong-term safety of victims and their children, DCVLP lawyers represent clients in divorce, child custody and visitation cases. To ensure thefinancial stability of the family, we request ongoing financial support and address property division issues.
Free, Walk-In Legal Clinics
We have four clinics throughout the District to reach as many DC residents as possible. Locations include Children’s National Medical Center, Community of Hope, a church in Southwest DC and DC Superior Court. Click here for more information or here for our clinic flyer.
Child Advocacy Program
DC Superior Court judges appoint DCVLP volunteer attorneys as Guardians ad litem to represent vulnerable children who are being abused or neglected, or are at risk of serious harm from parental substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, or incarceration.
Our court-appointed volunteer and staff lawyers conduct a thorough investigation of the child’s home life, including interviewing the child, parents, other family members, teachers, counselors, medical providers, and others involved in the child’s life. hey also review police reports, criminal records, child protective service agency reports, and educational and medical records. Throughout the course of the case, the lawyers attend hearings to present their investigative observations and make recommendations to the court regarding custody and visitation that is in the best interests of the child.
Our well-trained attorneys provide a voice in court for these young victims with the goal of ensuring a safe and secure home for each child. We help nearly 100 at-risk children each year.
DCVLP’s Client Advocate provides essential support services to our domestic violence clients including crisis counseling, safety planning, case management, and referrals for housing, counseling, and emergency financial assistance. She also follows up periodically to offer extended legal and social services.
From your tone, to your spaces to let me have a moment, to your careful explanations … I thank you. You are truly a gem. It is especially comforting after having so many doors slammed in my face and my life turned on its head.
– a DCVLP client in an email to our Client Advocate