Justine came to our office for help with an Injunction for Protection after her boyfriend hurt her. We represented her in court, and she obtained the court order requiring her boyfriend to leave her alone and not come within 500 feet of her. Later, Justine and her boyfriend reconciled, so she dismissed the case. Many may find this shocking, but statistically, for survivors of intimate partner violence, it takes an average of seven times to leave before staying away from their abuser for good. (See The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s “50 Obstacles to Leaving.”)
When Justine’s partner hurt her again, she was embarrassed to call, but we always tell survivors that we don’t judge them, and the door is always open. She finally called and we were able to assist her in court to get another injunction. She still fears her former partner, but she knows we will always be here.
“Legal Aid has been such a blessing to me and my son throughout this whole scary domestic violence situation. I am so grateful for all they have done for my son and me,” she says. “They represented us so well and fought for us.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please seek help immediately.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233 (SAFE) or (800) 787-3224 (TTY)
SPARCC, Sarasota: (941) 365-1976
Hope Family Services, Bradenton: (941) 747-8499
Legal Aid of Manasota: (941) 366-0038