Lori is a working mom with two children. She sought help from legal aid the same week her restraining order hearing was set. Her abuser had recently kicked her and given her a black eye, and Lori explained to her legal aid lawyer that there was a long history of assault. She was terrified. Lori’s legal aid lawyer explained that they provide attorneys to domestic violence survivors in restraining order hearings when possible, either by assigning a legal aid attorney to the case or by referring the case to a volunteer lawyer. When this is not possible due to stretched resources, legal aid lawyers will offer emergency advice for self-representation. In Lori’s case, legal aid provided brief advice and support so that Lori could successfully represent herself at the hearing. The restraining order was upheld and she kept custody of her children. As Lori prepares for hearings on a divorce from her abuser, she feels her family is safe.

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