WomensLaw Email Hotline User Quote
WomensLaw is the first and only free, legal resource for survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that offers safety and legal information and resources in "plain language" in both English and Spanish. We are dedicated to empowering survivors and their advocates to make informed decisions about their options, safety, and legal remedies.
From November 1, 2021, to February 18, 2022, 1,623,811 people accessed the life-saving information that is housed on WomensLaw.org. This is an increase of 66% from the same period a year earlier.
In the past three months (November 2021 through February 18, 2022), we worked directly with 1,005 victims, survivors, and their friends, advocates, or family members through our Email Hotline. This unique hotline offers victims a direct line to ask a question of our attorneys and volunteers, who specialize in domestic violence and the law. We respond to every request as quickly as possible, but take time to respond thoughtfully and include individualized resources and information. We frequently correspond back and forth with the people who write in, and many are grateful for our assistance and support, as below:
“Many, infinite thanks for help and assistance. I appreciate the advice that you all have given to me as to what to do during this kind of situation. Without the help of women's law I don't know where I would be.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, December 2021)
“Thank you so much for your response and the information provided. Sincerely. Thank you all deeply for what you do and the people that you help. Even a reply means so much.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, February 2022)
We answer questions and provide our expertise on a wide range of topics - including custody, divorce, relocation, and more. Often, victims or their loved ones are writing in to us to get some basic legal information about their situation when they cannot find legal representation. Although we do not provide legal advice, we can explain relevant laws that may help the victim to make an informed decision.
It is especially rewarding when someone tells us that we explained the information in a way that was easy to understand and lets us know that the information helped them feel supported. Here is one such reply that we received on the Email Hotline:
“I appreciate the amount of education and information, overall a great amount of support you've given me.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, November 2021)
We are constantly updating our website (http://www.WomensLaw.org) – making changes and additions daily. Our top priorities are: (1) to make sure that the legal information that we have is current with changes in the laws, and (2) to continue to add new information that would be useful for victims and survivors of abuse. Between November 1, 2021, and February 18, 2022, we made hundreds of updates, such as:
- Based on newly enacted laws, we added information about child support lasting until age 26 for a child who is developmentally disabled and lives with the parent seeking support to What is child support? Who can file? in our New York Child Support section in English and Spanish. We also added two related statutes to our Selected New York Statutes page.
- In our Stalking/Cyberstalking page, we added a new question in English and Spanish called How can I document incidents of stalking and cyberstalking?
- Based on 2021 changes to the law, we updated Am I eligible to file for a protective order? in our Oklahoma Restraining Orders section to clarify that a family or household member now includes anyone related by blood or marriage even if they are not living in the same household.
- In our Ohio Domestic Violence / Dating Violence Protection order page, we added a list of the sexually oriented offenses to What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Ohio? and hyperlinked each crime to its statutory definition. Changes made in English and Spanish.
- Based on 2021 changes to the law regarding who can get a concealed handgun permit, we updated the following questions in our Virginia State Gun Laws pages in English and Spanish:
- In our Florida Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence section, we re-wrote What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Florida? to hyperlink each crime to its statutory definition and to clarify that the crime of stalking also includes harassment and cyberstalking. Changes made in English and Spanish.
- Based on 2021 changes to the law, we added information to What acts of abuse would qualify me for a peace order? in our Maryland Peace Orders section to explain that an employer can file for a peace order if an act of abuse happened to their employee at the employee’s workplace. Changes made in English and Spanish.
- We rearranged our Puerto Rico Custody section to better organize the information included in that section. We also added the questions:
o What are some pros and cons of starting a custody case?
- Added information to three questions in our Indiana Orders for Protection page about the fact that if an order for protection may affect a school’s ability to provide in-person instruction to the petitioner, the school must be notified and has three business days to respond and then a school representative can testify at the order for protection hearing before the judge can issue an order. Changes made in English; Spanish soon to come.
- Changed four questions in our Utah Restraining Orders section to reflect the change of the length of temporary orders from 20 to 21 days.
- We revised the question If a PR&R order is already in place, how can I get it changed? to add more information about appeals and motions for consideration in our Vermont Custody section.
These are just a handful of the changes and improvements that we made over the past three months! See everything we did on WomensLaw.org on our What’s New page: https://www.womenslaw.org/about/news
Thank you for supporting WomensLaw and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).
Stay in the loop! Sign up for occasional action alerts and updates from NNEDV at: NNEDV.org/signup
Resources Available on WomensLaw.org