Senator Dan Sullivan Joins Legal Services Corporation for Briefing on Legal Aid’s Importance to Domestic Violence Survivors

April 8, 2019

WASHINGTON – A panel of experts will discuss how legal aid organizations funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) provide critical assistance to victims of domestic violence at a Senate briefing on April 10.

Millions of Americans experience domestic violence every year. Legal aid is essential to protecting survivors and their families. Attorneys help prevent future violence by obtaining and enforcing protective orders in court. Domestic violence survivors represented by legal counsel obtain a protection order 83% of the time, while those without counsel obtain protection orders only 32% of the time. Survivors rate getting a protective order as one of the two most effective tools for stopping domestic violence, second only to leaving the abuser.

Legal aid organizations also help survivors overcome many problems that endanger their safety and stability. They secure child custody orders for clients and provide needed legal services in matters related to separation and divorce proceedings, employment, and financial and housing problems. In 2018, LSC-funded legal aid organizations reported more than 129,000 domestic violence cases. Across the country, legal aid attorneys are helping domestic violence survivors gain economic independence and rebuild their lives. 

This briefing is being held in cooperation with Senator Dan Sullivan (AK), who will deliver opening remarks. LSC Board Chair John G. Levi will also speak.

The panelists are:

Nikole Nelson, Executive Director, Alaska Legal Services Corporation
Katherine Shank, Deputy Director, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
Gary Wachtel, Senior Director, Law, Discover Financial Services, Inc.
Brenda B., Former client of Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh, PA

LSC President James J. Sandman will moderate the discussion.  

The briefing will take place at G11 Dirksen Senate Office Building, 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT. Members of the press are invited to attend. 

The forum will also be live-streamed via Facebook Live. To view the briefing, visit LSC’s Facebook page. Or follow the conversation on Twitter at #LSCDV.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.