Civil Legal Aid Is a Potential Tool in Helping Victims of Partner Violence

When it comes to domestic violence victims who are living in poverty, access to legal services is proven to prevent further violence and save lives argues Lonnie Powers.
Blog Post (Massachusetts)

Lonnie A. Powers
Huffington Post
April 17, 2014
Link to story

Tags: Benefits of Legal Aid, Domestic Violence, Women


It is true that the court system can be scary and overwhelming for anyone, much less someone who comes to it in a vulnerable position to begin with. Without strong legal advocacy and other professional support for people in abusive relationships, their abusers can easily persuade or intimidate victims out of pursuing legal action.

A majority of the victims in the study were living in poverty. This fact once again reinforces the dire need for civil legal aid, which provides legal representation, advice, and information to low-income people with non-criminal legal problems such as domestic violence, child custody, or employment issues.

If we as a society are serious about preventing domestic violence, the expansion of civil legal aid for domestic violence victims must be in the policy mix. It makes no sense to ignore a tool proven to help individuals and families break free over the long-term from the cycle of violence and return to living safe, healthy and productive lives.