Courage Connection Partners with Virtual Legal Clinic
Leaving an abusive relationship is only the first step. Survivors can face an uphill battle when they seek justice through the legal system. Abusers often control the family’s finances—making it extremely difficult for the survivor to retain legal representation equal to that of her abuser. Additionally, facing an abuser in court is intimidating and can lead to a survivor being further re-victimized. And it can be difficult for a survivor to untangle an abuser’s threats regarding custody and property from reality and to know what rights she actually has.
Courage Connection’s Court Advocates helped survivors file 122 Orders of Protection in Fiscal Year 2014. However, Court Advocates are not attorneys and cannot provide legal counsel. Now, through the Virtual Legal Clinic, survivors and advocates have an additional resource. A partnership between the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s office, the Virtual Legal Clinic provides survivors with an hour of free legal consultation via Skype.
The Virtual Legal Clinic is designed to reach survivors in rural and under-served areas, and Courage Connection is proud to be a partner agency. Working with a Court Advocate, a survivor sets up an appointment and then connects to an attorney on a secure computer at Courage Connection’s Domestic Violence Program. The consultation is completely free and completely private and can be used to address issues from divorce and custody through debt, credit, and financial problems.
Want to learn more? Read the full brochure here.