Low cost or pro bono legal aid for domestic violence / abuse victims in California?
June 28, 2009 10:00 PM Subscribe
My friend and her ex-boyfriend got in a fight, he got violent and beat her up pretty bad. She got in the car with their baby and fled cross-country to stay with her parents. There is a hearing next month to determine custody of the child, and she doesn't want to lose the kid to what is likely going to be an abusive father. Lawyer up, right? Problem is, not a lot of money. Can you point me to any organizations in California that provide pro-bono / sliding-scale / low-cost legal aid services for abused women?
So, my friend and her (now-ex) boyfriend had a child together and were living together in Fairfield, CA. In April of this year, they got in a fight over something (I don't know what), he snapped and beat the shit out of her. She took the kid and the clothes on her back and drove to her parents' house in the midwest, where she's been staying since.
There's a hearing in Fairfield at the end of July to determine the custody of the child, and she's scared that without a lawyer she's gonna lose her son and/or be forced to regularly see Mr. Violent if there's some kind of joint custody agreement.
As you can probably imagine, having to leave all your belongings and job behind on a moment's notice with toddler in tow has put her in a financial pickle, and she's having a hard time finding the $3k it will cost her to hire the cheapest lawyer she can find, and on top of that there's tickets for the flight back out to the hearing, etc. I and other friends have lent some money to help, but none of us can pony up that kind of cash on short notice.
I imagine there must be some organizations and/or social service groups which provide legal aid or representation for women who are victims of domestic violence. I've done some googling and found a few in California, but I suspect there are some knowledgeable people on AskMe who can set us on the right direction as far as finding help.
I'm not personally involved in the situation in any way, just trying to lend a hand after the fact. Any assistance anyone can provide would be appreciated in a big way.