Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims

by National Network to End Domestic Violence
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims
WomensLaw Email Hotline User Quote
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)

And:

“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
Resources Available on WomensLaw.org

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

WomensLaw is the first and only free, legal resource for survivors of domestic & 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 May 1, 2021, to July 31, 2021, 1,095,280 people accessed the life-saving information that is housed on WomensLaw.org.

In the past three months (May 1, 2021, to July 31, 2021), we worked directly with 1,423 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 individuals who write in, and many are grateful for our assistance and support. We also hear from the advocates providing direct services to victims who use WomensLaw.org to support their clients. Some responses we have received over the Email Hotline are below:

“…Your support, kindness and guidance has made such a difference in the difficult situation I am currently in. To reach out as a vulnerable person and be met with such compassion and understanding is something I will take with me as I continue onwards...”  (WomensLaw Email Hotline, June 2021)

And:

 

“I cannot thank you enough for your enormous  help, and all the research that you have done for us. This actually made me cry.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline, June 2021)

 

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 and provided resources in a way that helps them understand their options and think through what to do next. Here is one reply that we received on the Email Hotline from a victim trying to better understand their legal options:

 

“Thank you for your heartfelt and informative reply to my email. I appreciate the straight forward, kind and thorough letter you sent, thank you. Thank you for sending so much information my way. You have helped me to understand more of the judicial process. I appreciate your kind assistance, your time, positive support and the detailed help you sent.  Thank you again beyond words I can express.”

(WomensLaw Email Hotline response, July 2021)

 

We are constantly updating our website (http://www.WomensLaw.org) – making changes and additions to it daily. Our priority is to make sure that the legal information that we have is current with changes in the laws and to continue to add new information that would be useful for victims and survivors of abuse. Between May 1, 2021 and July 31, 2021, we made the following updates:

See all of the changes and updates we have made on our What’s New page.

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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

WomensLaw is the first and only free, legal resource for survivors of domestic & 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 February 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021, 989,122 people accessed the life-saving information that is housed on WomensLaw.org.

In the past three months (February 2021 through April 2021), we worked directly with 1,168 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 women and men who write in, and many are grateful for our assistance and support. We also hear from the advocates providing direct services to victims who use WomensLaw.org to support their clients. Some responses we have received over the Email Hotline are below:

I am so grateful and impressed at how much time and effort you went through to provide me with the information below - thank you. I expected a short answer but you went above and beyond my expectations - grateful. (WomensLaw Email Hotline, March 2021) 

And:

Thank you, your organization has been amazing at providing guidance and support.  I wouldn’t have known where to start without this type of service and I never in a million years ever thought it would be me needing this. (WomensLaw Email Hotline, February 2021)

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 and provided resources and are also one of the first people to make them feel heard and understood. Here is one such reply that we received on the Email Hotline:

You did awesome and it made me feel better. When someone actually helps me my husband and I smile again knowing there is help put there. We get so emotionally exhausted it physical and emotionally wears me out. Yea I'm going to get those links out thank you and I will keep you posted.

 (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, March 2021)

We are constantly updating our website (http://www.WomensLaw.org) – making changes and additions to it daily. Our priority is to make sure that the legal information that we have is current with changes in the laws and to continue to add new information that would be useful for victims and survivors of abuse. Between February 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021, we made hundreds of updates, such as:

.…and these are just a handful of the changes and improvements that we made over the past three months! See them all here 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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

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, 2020, to January 31, 2021, 798,513 people accessed the life-saving information that is housed on WomensLaw.org.

In the past three months (November 2020 through January 2021), we worked directly with 1,257 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 women and men who write in, and many are grateful for our assistance and support, as below:

“Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for being kind and helpful. This is very scary, with everything being unknown and I have felt myself wanting to slip back into just accepting this is how things are only because it is what I have known for so long. But I have been trying very hard to keep moving forward despite the fear. Honestly thank you is not enough but really just thank you so much.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, December 2020)

And:

“Thank you. The work you do is commendable and I know it helps woman who are struggling to get out of bad relationships.”  (WomensLaw Email Hotline, January 2021)

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:

“Thank you for your reply. I am very grateful to not feel so alone.”  (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, November 2020)

We are constantly updating our website (http://www.WomensLaw.org) – making changes and additions to it daily. Our priority is to make sure that the legal information that we have is current with changes in the laws and to continue to add new information that would be useful for victims and survivors of abuse. Between November 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, we made hundreds of updates, such as: 

  • Because of a new law in Washington that allows a judge to consider litigation abuse when making a decision about custody, we added a new question in the Washington Custody section called Can the judge restrict the parenting plan based on the conduct of the other parent? The new question is in English, Spanish coming soon!
  • We reviewed and re-wrote the information on our Puerto Rico Crimes page in English and Spanish. Based on this, we also added the criminal statutes of assault and attenuated severe assault (in Spanish). 
  • On our Tennessee Crimes page, we added a link to the law regarding an unwed mother having custody of a child if there is no court order alongside the crime of custodial interference. This way, our users can have a better understanding of whether the crime of custodial interference would apply to their situation.
  • Based on an Email Hotline inquiry, we added a statute regarding an unwed mother having custody of a child if there is no court order to our Selected Tennessee Statutes page.
  • We added five statutes to our Washington Selected State Statutes section. 
  • We rewrote the Puerto Rico Suing an Abuser for Money page in both English and Spanish to better explain this process for victims of abuse.
  • On our North Carolina Download Court Forms page, we added a link in English and Spanish to a motion for contempt for violating a 50-B order.
  • We updated the following questions in our South Carolina Orders of Protection section to reflect the 2017 South Carolina Supreme Court decision that said requiring cohabitating couples to be of the opposite sex was unconstitutional as applied:
  • In addition, we added information about having to serve the respondent at least five days before the hearing in Step 4: Service of process.
  • On our South Dakota Places that Help page, we updated 89 resources as follows: 5 Statewide Programs, 18 Local Programs, 66 Courthouse Locations. All updates were made in English and, for the first time, all resources were translated into Spanish!
  • In our South Dakota Local Programs page, we added the following five programs: Beacon Center, Catholic Family Services – Aberdeen, Catholic Family Services – Brookings, Catholic Family Services – Pierre, and Catholic Family Services – Yankton. We also added the following three courthouses to our South Dakota Courthouse Locations page: Hand County - Third Judicial Circuit Court, Tripp County - Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, and Oglala Lakota County - Seventh Judicial Circuit Court. All additions were made in English and Spanish.
  • We updated and reorganized our Kansas State Gun Laws section to make it more state law focused and easier to use. This included updates to 14 questions in English! Spanish coming soon!
  • We added one new statutes related to child support to our Selected Wisconsin Statutes page.
  • We expanded the Wisconsin Child Support page to include 4 new questions. 
  • We added two new statutes related to child support to our Selected Massachusetts Statutes page.
  • We added information to 4 questions in our Massachusetts Child Support section and reviewed and updated the whole page for clarity. Spanish translation coming soon!
  • We expanded the Massachusetts Housing Laws to include 5 new questions for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who need to terminate their lease for fear of immediate harm and we updated 1 question. Spanish translation coming soon.

… And 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

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

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 August 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020, 774,167 people accessed the life-saving information that is housed on WomensLaw.org.

In the past three months (August 2020 through October 2020), we worked directly with 1,140 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 answer every request as quickly as possible with a thoughtful response that includes individualized resources and information. We frequently correspond several times with the women and men who write in, and many express their gratitude for our assistance and support. We also hear from the advocates providing direct services to victims who use WomensLaw.org to support their clients. Some responses we have received over the Email Hotline are below:


“I was almost brought to tears knowing that someone sat down and really read my words and understood my situation. The response was very clear, thoughtful and thorough.” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, August 2020)

And:

“You have done more than you will ever know. I sincerely mean this. I truly thank you for all the support and information you have given me. I am sure you are swamped on your end as well. (My apologies, but I am spreading the word about you guys!)” (WomensLaw Email Hotline response, October 2020)


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 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 writes in and we are able to make them feel heard and understood. Here is one such reply that we received on the Email Hotline:

“I believe that the answers were very informative and I felt my question was heard and was carefully answered. The amount of detail given was great it pointed me in the right direction with more than one option.” (September 2020)


We are constantly updating our website (http://www.WomensLaw.org) – making changes and additions daily. Our priority is to make sure that our legal information is current with changes in the laws while continuing to add new information that would be useful for victims and survivors of abuse. Between August 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020, we made hundreds of updates, such as:

.…And these are just a handful of the changes and improvements that we made over the past three months! See them all here 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.

 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

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National Network to End Domestic Violence

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @nnedv
Project Leader:
Deborah J Vagins
Washington, DC United States
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