While for some of us, Valentine’s Day conjures up thoughts of love and romance, for far too many people, February 14th can represent yet another day in an arduous struggle to escape an abusive relationship. Each year, Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal) serves more than 15,000 individuals who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault, and over 30% of these cases involve children. Our attorneys support survivors in accessing legal options and breaking cycles of abuse for themselves and their children.
When Yan first came to BayLegal, she was in fear not only for her own safety, but for the safety of her one-year-old child and elderly mother, all of whom experienced violence at the hands of her abusive ex.
“I was in a very dark place,” she recalled. Yan had filed a temporary restraining order, but, unable to afford an attorney, she was left unrepresented in court and unprotected.
Yan’s journey to a safe, stable life for her and her family was not easy, but, with support from an experienced family law and domestic violence attorney, Yan was able to secure a restraining order and primary physical custody of her child, in addition to emotional support for her trauma.
This Valentine’s Day, we honor the spirit of survivors and stand alongside them in their fight for justice, because—as Dr. Cornell West so poignantly reminds us—justice is, after all, “what love looks like in public.”
If you or someone you know needs legal assistance with a domestic violence issue, we may be able to help. Learn more about BayLegal’s Domestic Violence Prevention Project here.