Every year during the month of July we are reminded of the many liberties and freedoms we have been awarded in this country, but unfortunately not everyone lives every day feeling like they are free. The word freedom frequently involves conversations around freedom of speech, the ability to vote, or one’s right to religious liberty. Not often do those conversations delve into the deeper meaning of freedom such as people’s ability to choose with whom they spend their time, how they spend their money, when they get to come and go from their home, or how they parent their children. These are the rights and privileges that can easily be taken for granted – except by victims of domestic abuse. Victims of domestic abuse are often denied the basic liberty to do or say as they wish by their abusers, let alone pursue that which might bring them joy.
When a victim can safely exit an abusive relationship, the abuser often seeks to maintain power and control of the victim after the end of the relationship. If an individual is married to their abuser, has children in common with them, or has other legal matters involving the abuser, this ongoing required contact gives the abuser the opportunity to continue to use abusive and controlling behaviors. Some of the common tactics abusers use includes withholding joint finances, threating to take the children away from the victim, or otherwise using the court system against the victim. In these ways abusers utilize any and all avenues available to maintain power and control over the victim’s life. While the primary source of the pain may have been removed when the abusive relationship ended, the journey to total freedom from the abuser is often a much longer process for the victim. This is why the WCA provides resources that may be utilized at any point in time during the victim’s journey.
At the WCA, it is our mission to provide services that help victims in their journey to safety, healing, and the ultimate goal: freedom from domestic abuse. Through our Court Advocacy program specifically, victims can do in-depth safety planning, receive assistance with civil legal matters (protection orders, divorce, custody, etc.), and may be referred to additional legal services. Regardless of where victims finds themselves in the process to obtaining true freedom, whether they are preparing to leave an abusive relationship or moving through a family law case, Court Advocacy supports are accessible at any time for a victim. Through free and confidential services, the WCA provides victims with resources and support to build resilience at their own pace, so that victims are able to live with the freedom to which everyone is entitled and deserves.
For more information or additional resources regarding Court Advocacy, Civil Protection Orders, or safety planning, please visit the links below: