Although LawYou helps nonlawyers represent themselves in all sorts of cases, we dedicate a lot of time and space to helping survivors of domestic violence or intimate partner abuse. Here’s why.
When the Legal Consultation Ministry (LawYou’s predecessor) was created back in 2008, Sherri Renner figured that people involved in the family courts would not need the kind of help that was being offered. The Florida courts had established self-help centers throughout the state, with most of the resources in those centers being family-law-related. That demographic is covered, Sherri thought.
It wasn’t until she began the work of helping nonlawyers represent themselves that Sherri learned that, despite the available resources, people enmeshed in family courts have the greatest need for assistance. This seeming paradox stems from several factors:
- The equitable nature of family court actions, which allows judges a lot of discretion,
- The parties themselves, who may be using the courts to harass, abuse, or remain in contact, and
- Judges, who may not be trained or motivated to discern when their courtrooms are being used for improper purposes.
These dynamics are especially prevalent in family court matters that do not resolve quickly and cooperatively. Because the stakes are high, we give these matters high priority.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
“The Hotline,” as it’s widely known, is a federally-funded service with lots of resources for victims and survivors, including considerations for safety plans. Follow the link to the website or call 800-799-7233.
The Hotline® is the only 24/7 center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S. Today, The Hotline continues to grow and explore new avenues of service.
The Stalking and Harassment Assessment and Risk Profile (SHARP) is a research-informed safety management tool to educate and inform decision-making about stalking or harassment situations.
The result will have two parts. The first part summarizes the responses to SHARP questions and provides a basic risk profile. The second part provides suggested actions that someone being targeted with stalking, harassment, and threats might take to improve their safety, based on the specific situation reported in the SHARP questions.
Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit
The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit is a web-based app that helps victims to document the abuse they suffer. According to the website, the EAA:
tells the victim’s stories, histories and experiences that are preserved and stored on their behalf. It helps give the victim back power and control over their situation. …It allows the voice of the victim to be heard, even when they are not able to tell their story.
The EAA was created by Susan Murphy Milano, who was a specialist and expert in intimate partner violence and worked nationally with corporations, faith based organizations, domestic violence programs, law enforcement and prosecutors.
Changing Your Social Security Number
Social Security Numbers are assigned at birth and cannot be changed unless certain conditions are met. Situations involving harassment, abuse, or life endangerment are among the conditions allowing for an SSN change request to the Social Security Administration.
Changing your Social Security Number: https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-02220
Address Confidentiality Programs
More than half of states provide survivors of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence with a program that furnishes a legal substitute address and mail forwarding. These are known as address confidentiality programs, and we’ve seen them work well to protect survivors.
This website lists states with these programs and provides links to the relevant web pages for signing up. The photo links to Colorado’s program.
If your state is not on the list, reach out to your state attorney general to inquire whether a confidentiality program has been initiated. If no such program exists in your state, please contact us and we will help at no or low cost.
Pursuing Justice Foundation
Pursuing Justice Foundation is LawYou’s nonprofit arm. It was created to assist
self-represented litigants with the educational and monetary support they need to present their cases effectively and create meaningful records.
By providing guidance and essential expense assistance, the Foundation boosts nonlawyers’ opportunities to present their cases effectively, which in turn brings greater overall equity into the courts.
PJF also is home to National Pro Se Day, which provides a unified national platform from which the people can speak to the courts about their experiences.
Institute for Relational Harm Reduction
LawYou works with Sandra Brown, M.A., founder of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education.
The Institute is a rapidly growing body of people seeking to impact public education surrounding issues related to pathology, personality disorders, and psychopathy.
This growing body are survivors—women, men and their children who have sustained psychological injury because of someone else’s pathology.
Sandra is a thought and research leader into personality traits of and trauma-informed care for survivors. She’s the author of the acclaimed Women Who Love Psychopaths and creator of the Living Recovery Program.
The Living Recovery Program is a comprehensive and affordable approach to recovery from a Pathological Love Relationship with a Cluster B/Psychopathic partner.
LRP consists of 51 weekly lessons (plus a finale) with educational and guided recovery topics, tips, techniques, resources, and helpful tools delivered in an online, self-study format which you can access from the comfort of your home.
For more information or to register, click the puzzle pieces image
Some Relevant Posts
One day many years ago, C.R. met a handsome and charming man. That’s right – her nightmare began, as they often do, as a dream.
Jenna* had been embroiled in litigation with her ex-husband for years. Every so often he would bring some trivial matter to the court, painting Jenna
Question I just listened to your interview posted from the WNAAD event. Thank you. It seems you suggest that litigants shouldn’t draw attention to the
by Sherri L. Renner, J.D. October 2014; updated March 2015 Legal abuse can be an unexpected and sometimes tragic extension of domestic or intimate partner
“Courtrooms are the perfect platforms for abusers to maintain contact with their victims,” reports Sandra Brown, MA, CEO of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction
Family Law Attorney Discusses Legal Abuse by Sherri L. Renner, J.D. “The difference is in the intentions and the motives of the party that is