Spotlight on Safety

Categories: Client Story

Elder Abuse Prevention

Dory with her attorney, Kristi (left)
Kristi, Bay Area Legal Aid Attorney (left), says of Dory: “She continues to make quilts for children who are low income and she’s 94… It just amazes me.”

Dory is known throughout her tight-knit community for her many acts of kindness and generosity, like balancing checkbooks for her neighbors and opening her home to her recently-divorced daughter. After moving in, Dory’s daughter invited her own adult daughter and grandchildren to live in the house, causing Dory to often be confined to her bedroom. When she requested that her granddaughter and great-grandchildren move out, Dory was met with outright refusal and verbal assault. Eventually, the abuse turned physical and escalated to the point where Dory had to crawl to her neighbor’s house to call the police.

“I’ll never forget it. I was so embarrassed that my family was hurting me. I knew they were going to kill me. No one was doing anything for me until you helped me. I was never treated so well as I was in your office.”

– Dory, Bay Area Legal Aid Client

Napa County Adult Protective Services referred Dory to Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal), where attorneys sought an eviction and permanent restraining order against Dory’s daughter and grandchildren. At first, the judge allowed her daughter to stay in the home as long as she kept away from Dory. This arrangement still caused Dory to fear for her safety to the point where it was causing a dangerous rise in blood pressure. BayLegal attorneys persisted, returning to court on two more occasions and winning a permanent order for the family to leave the home and stay away.

Dory now lives happily and safely on her own. She has a strong community of neighbors as well as a nephew who loves and supports her. Her kind and generous spirit persists through the trauma she has faced.

Our Reach

9,842 cases in 2015
92% of cases won
38,236 calls for legal help
60,000 lives changed
$34.7 Million back to the community

Your generous support provides legal advice, counsel, and advocacy to ensure Bay Area residents can live in safe homes, free from violence.