Expanding Services & Advocacy to Meet Community Needs
Each year, hundreds of survivors of domestic violence and individuals in crisis call our offices seeking legal advice and assistance. Some call from a shelter or a friendís home, having left their batterers with literally only the clothing on their backs. Others are whispering, hidden in bedrooms or making hurried calls while their abusers are temporarily out of the home. They want to know what will happen to them, their children, their immigration status, if they move forward and leave their abusers.
This past year, we represented more than several hundred of these survivors of domestic violence in four Bay Area counties: San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo. We provided legal counseling and referrals to thousands more.
Our commitment to comprehensive client assistance goes beyond legal services. Through our long-standing partnerships with Asian Womenís Shelter, Cameron House, Narika, and Shimtuh, we can help clients to meet their social services and psychological needs as well. Our unique collaborative model emphasizes holistic and linguistically and culturally competent services to support and empower clients through an extremely traumatic legal process. S
Beyond issues of divorce and custody, we work to represent clients whose family situations may have resulted in other legal difficulties. Batterers, whose English language skills often excel those of their victims, do not hesitate to call local police agencies to accuse the victims of being the harassers. These calls occasionally result in the victim being prosecuted and/or convicted of assault, a stain which can lead to subsequent mandatory deportation. Earlier this year, we represented a divorced immigrant facing deportation because she had, pled no contest to a trumped-up charge of child endangerment. Staff attorney Ivy Lee persuaded the government that the conviction should be characterized as a petty offense. Our client is now preparing for U.S. citizenship.
In addition to providing legal services, API Legal Outreach is committed to advocacy and education. We continue to work to improve language access in the courts and in local police departments.Major Initiatives in the Past Year:
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