For Immediate Release
Contact: Karin Romans
212-760-2554, ext. 496
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LawHelp Offers Resources to Stop Violence
Legal Information Site Empowers Individuals with Referrals, Information and Self-help Tools
New York - October 21, 2013 - Every October, we mark National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Statistics show that one in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Pro Bono Net provides resources for domestic violence survivors and advocates. LawHelp (www.LawHelp.org), a national network of nonprofit legal information websites, helps individuals find free legal aid in their communities and answers to their questions about their legal rights and self-help tools.
LawHelp includes resources on what constitutes abusive behavior, how to obtain orders of protection, receiving assistance related to housing rights, public benefits and children, and the needs of special populations such as immigrants. LawHelp also offers referrals to local legal aid organizations. Many of the resources are available in languages other than English.
LawHelp was developed 12 years ago by Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit leader in increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged. The LawHelp network assists more than 4.5 million visitors per year in 25 states nationwide. Many state websites include links to LawHelp Interactive, a free, online system for completing legal forms, allowing survivors and advocates to quickly and easily find and fill out needed documents such as Riverside California's File and Fax order of protection project that enables survivors to fax in their petitions or New York's e-file program, which gives advocates the tools to e-file petitions on behalf of their clients. LawHelp.org was developed with support from the Legal Services Corporation.
Attorneys looking to get involved in the fight against domestic violence can visit the National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory (www.probono.net/dv), which offers a range of pro bono opportunities including filing an order of protection, doing research for advocacy, and providing legal help to immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
"Victims of domestic violence may not know where to turn for critically needed legal assistance and, in many cases, cannot afford to hire an attorney," said Liz Keith, LawHelp Program Manager at Pro Bono Net. "LawHelp can easily be accessed from anywhere, for example at a computer at a public library, to find referrals for free legal services, information about legal rights, and, often, free online forms and other tools for self-help."
About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms - www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lawhelpinteractive.org - to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities. For more information, please visit www.probono.net.