2 thoughts on “Issue briefs

  1. I’m curious as to if you have issue briefs regarding the rights of little women. Specifically minor children. My future step daughter (she’s 5) is being neglected medically, and potentially abused by her birth mother and the birth mothers boyfriend. I’m looking for help on behalf of my future stepdaughter from the women’s organization, and anything on being an advocate for her rights.

    1. Thank you for reaching out Melissa.
      While NOW is not a support services organization NOW does have information about domestic violence and improving public policy to protect women and children’s rights. For example NOW Foundation does have an action initiative that deals with this issue in family court. It is a watch group. You can find out about their valuable work here:
      For your family, this is part of the information I found. All my best for NOW, Kathryn
      What to Do When Domestic Violence is Present
       National Domestic Violence Hotline
       1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
       1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
       Translators are available
       State Coalitions
       Start with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( Use their
      links to get to your state. From the state domestic violence coalition’s website, look around to find a listing of local programs. This link may be under “programs,” or “members.” Just look on that website — or call them to find a local program.
       Also look on the state coalition’s website to see if they have a legal program. Legal programs are often funded under a Legal Assistance to Victims grant, so you might look for those terms.
       Phone books
       Domestic Violence
       Family Violence
       Crisis Intervention
       Call 411 (or call 211, if your community has this service)
       Law enforcement
       Small programs / rural programs
       Often under-funded
       Possibly bare-bones services
       Shelter
       Advocacy
       May nor may not have ability to provide interpretation, but may have access to a language
       Large programs / urban programs
       Most will have a shelter program, or can refer for this
       May have a transitional living program (one year of supported housing and other services)
       May have lawyers on staff
       May not be able to represent everyone, but may have developed legal guides for those representing themselves
       May have a provision for providing brief services including case review without taking on representation
       May be able to represent clients on specific matters (not taking on all possible cases that may come up)
       Will probably have staff members who speak a language in addition to English, if not will likely have access to a language line
       Should be able to help file an emergency protective order
       Should be able to help file a longer term protective order
       Can provide information about requirements for both kinds of protective orders including:
       The length of time for which protective orders are generally granted
       Under what conditions children are included on protective orders
       Whether visitation and custody are addressed in protective orders
       May have “pro se” packets for those representing themselves without an attorney
       May have a pro bono program established for free legal representation
       Likely will know local attorneys who are experienced in these cases
       May have knowledge of local legal habits/procedures
       May be able to advise on how to successfully approach the court
       Some courts may not allow custody cases to proceed without an attorney of record; some
      courts are more welcoming of parties representing themselves
       May be able to advise about local court rules and practices (whether court records are easily
      accessible — so you can model your filings after those seen in other cases; whether children
      are generally allowed to testify)
       May be able to give anecdotal information on the success of certain motions, filing
      complaints against judges, attorneys, etc.
       May have a list of attorneys who are willing to take pro bono or reduced fee domestic
      violence cases
       May be able to recommend guardians ad litem, parenting coordinators, etc., in a custody case, if
      you have a choice in these matters
       May be able to connect you with other local people who have been parties in similar cases — for
      support and for sharing of information
       May be able to make active referrals to other legal aid programs or law school legal clinics — be
      sure to let them know if you are in any of the following groups, as there may be special assistance in your community for these groups:
       Sexual assault survivor
       Over 50
       Native American
       Disabled
       Recovering from alcohol or substance abuse
       Formerly incarcerated
       Gay, lesbian or transgender

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