While recent high-profile incidents continue to fix the nation’s attention on the problem of domestic violence, Legal Aid of North Carolina is doing its part locally during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to shine a light on the critical ways Legal Aid can help victims escape from violence.
Throughout October, Legal Aid’s field offices around the state displayed purple lights in their windows to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month and symbolize the ways that committed and compassionate Legal Aid attorneys can help light a pathway to peace for victims of violence. The effort is inspired by a campaign launched by the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“Everyone knows that uneasy feeling you get when walking down a dark path,” said TeAndra Miller, head of Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Practice Group. “Because you fear the unknown, you may walk very gingerly, start down the path and turn around or freeze in your tracks. Some victims have shared that they experience similar feelings when they are ready to seek assistance to end the violence. We want people to know that we are one of many lights – an important light – that can lead victims down the lit pathway to peace.”
Every year, Legal Aid’s domestic violence and sexual assault advocates, working in partnership with shelters and other service providers, help thousands of North Carolinians secure protective orders against their abusers, protect custody of their children, defend their housing and essential property rights, and address issues of employment, immigration, education and more.
“Legal Aid lawyers are the unsung warriors in the fight against domestic violence,” said Miller. “With no fanfare and often no recognition, Legal Aid advocates are on the front lines everyday representing victims and ensuring they have real, viable opportunities to escape their abusers with their safety, property and family intact.”
FOR LEGAL HELP IN NC
Legal Aid of North Carolina
1-866-219-LANC (5262) www.legalaidnc.org/apply
Legal Services of Southern Piedmont
Pisgah Legal Services
FOR OTHER SERVICES
N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence
N.C. Coalition Against Sexual Assault 919-871-1015 www.nccasa.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) www.thehotline.org