Lucia is an immigrant from Mexico with limited English. For years, she suffered emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by her partner Miguel, and her young son Roman often witnessed it. One day, when Roman was four, Miguel came home angry and said he was leaving. He walked out of the house, placed a belt around his neck, and said he wanted to die. After this incident, Lucia decided she had to protect herself and her son and went to the local legal aid office for help. She knew she needed a restraining order, but was afraid to appear in court–fearful of Miguel and of immigration authorities. Miguel contested the restraining order and the restrictions placed on him. Legal aid represented Lucia at the hearing, and the judge upheld the order. Miguel was also ordered to obtain treatment before his parenting time rights would be restored.
Despite the restraining order, Miguel kept trying to communicate with Lucia. Legal aid continued their representation of Lucia, helping her to renew her restraining order and obtain permanent custody of her son. It wasn’t easy for Lucia to leave her abusive husband amidst her concerns of retaliation by him and her fear of being targeted due to her immigration status, but she did. Thanks to legal aid, Lucia now has peace of mind, knowing that she and her son are finally safe.