If Lakisha Roby had gotten the help she needed, she might be alive today

I knew Lakisha because I was her attorney. She recently came to my office, which provides free civil legal aid to low-income residents of Cook County, because she needed representation in the divorce case against her husband.

Op-Ed (Illinois)

Aziza Khatoon
Chicago Sun-Times
March 23, 2018

Tags: Domestic Violence, Gun Violence

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Chicago


Before I met Lakisha, she had done the best she could representing herself in court against her husband, but unrepresented litigants don’t fare very well in court, especially when the other side has a lawyer. Last fall, Lakisha obtained an order of protection against Washington in criminal court. She alleged that he had pulled her out of a car during a visitation exchange, dragged her down the street and bit her so hard that she required medical treatment.

Had Lakisha sought the order of protection in the divorce case, however, more protections regarding the children might have been put in place.

Free legal assistance is the service most often requested by domestic violence victims, according to an assessment conducted by Cook County. Fewer than half of the victims surveyed received any legal assistance at all.