Legal Aid helps vulnerable survivors of domestic violence by providing pro bono representation at permanent restraining order hearings, which result in long-term restraining orders and custody, support, and visitation orders.  Legal Aid’s Senior Advocates program also helps seniors experiencing elder abuse; its Teen Parents’ Project helps pregnant and parenting teens experiencing dating and domestic violence.


Legal Aid helps keep a teen parent and her baby stay safe

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Teenage mother Geri was just beginning to establish a new life for herself and her baby. After leaving her abusive boyfriend Paul, the father of her baby, she successfully qualified for subsidized housing with Legal Aid’s help. But Paul persisted in his abuse. He broke in repeatedly, stealing Geri’s belongings and vandalizing her apartment. Despite his behavior, Geri allowed Paul to visit occasionally because she wanted her child to have a relationship with her father. During his visits, he also became increasingly violent toward Geri and the baby. How could Geri protect her family?

 

How Legal Aid Helped

As part of our Teen Parents Project, a Legal Aid attorney provided extended representation to resolve Geri’s legal matters and secure a safe, stable life for her and her baby. First, the attorney, represented Geri in court, obtaining a permanent restraining order, sole custody, and supervised visitation. Legal Aid also helped Geri relocate out of the area, obtaining Victim Witness funds to help her pay for the move. The attorney then assisted her in transferring her public assistance benefits to her new county and put her in contact with a state program to help battered women keep their addresses confidential.

 

Today Geri and her daughter remain safe in their new location and both are receiving counseling.


Legal Aid's Programs for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Collaborative

Helps low-income domestic violence survivors get essential protective orders and provides limited scope pro bono representation at their restraining order hearings.

 

Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

FAP’s partner clinics refer patients and their family members who are affected by domestic violence to FAP for legal assistance. FAP connects these patients to legal resources including the Domestic Violence Collaborative, so that they can get essential protective orders and other legal relief. FAP screens these patients for other legal issues, including issues with income assistance programs, housing and education. 

Senior Advocates Program

Helps San Mateo County residents age 60 and over who are victims of psychological or physical abuse.

 

Teen Parents Project

Helps pregnant and parenting teens to resolve legal issues so that they can continue their education, access medical care, and protect themselves and their children from abuse.