In 2007, there were 3,639 victims of domestic violence who sought help from United Family Services’ Victim Assistance Domestic Violence Program. Despite efforts of organizations in the community, a gap in pro bono legal assistance for domestic violence victims exists in Mecklenburg County. In addition, most pro bono agencies do not assist victims with additional representation in Civil Court proceedings including child custody, child support, separation and/or divorce. Victims who leave abusive partners face many barriers. The Court System is viewed as one of the most difficult systems to navigate successfully. Economic abuse leads to unfair trials where the batterer often has an attorney and the victim is left to fight for herself or himself. This inequitable distribution of justice leads to re-victimization and, in some cases, the victim returning to the batterer to avoid becoming homeless or living without his or her children.
The Legal Representation Project is a volunteer network that works with United Family Services. The mission is to increase the number of pro bono attorneys who are trained in domestic violence to represent victims in all civil court proceedings from the Domestic Violence Protective Order hearings (“the 10 day”) to custody, child support, separation and/or divorce. The goal of the Legal Representation Project is to give victims of domestic violence a choice and a chance: a choice of legal representation in civil court proceedings and a chance to be safe from domestic violence.
Sodoma Law, P.C. has committed to the Legal Representation Project in taking one pro bono case per month in an effort to help the project reach its goal and mission in Mecklenburg County.
If you need assistance, and would like to take advantage of the Legal Representation Project, contact Sodoma Law, P.C. or contact the coordinator, Sheila Passenant, directly at Victim's Assistance, 732 East Fourth Street, Suite 204. You may also call 704-926-7508 or email Ms. Passenant at email@example.com.