Ms. A, who spoke very little English, visited the Safe Families Office in the Fulton County Courthouse after being beaten all over her body, day after day, by her husband. The beatings often occurred in front of her four children and were sometimes directed at them.
Ms. A was accompanied by a Fulton County Solicitor’s Office Victim’s Assistant and domestic violence advocates from Raksha, Inc. With the Raksha advocates acting as informal interpreters, Ms. A was able to explain to an AVLF attorney what had happened to her.
After the judge granted a 30-day Temporary Protective Order, the Victim’s Assistant secured the help of the Marshal’s Office, who immediately left to serve Mr. A with the TPO.
The hearing took three separate court dates to finish due to the complexities involved, but Ms. A was ultimately granted a 12-Month Family Violence Protective Order on behalf of herself and her four children and over $900/month in child support. Her husband was ordered to continue to make her car and car insurance payments, which totaled over $400/month.
This great result for Ms. A was obviously a well-coordinated team effort. Here’s how it all worked:
- The Victim’s Assistant ensured prompt service of process on the Respondent through the Fulton County Marshal’s Office and that criminal charges were brought against him. The Victim’s Assistant also provided evidence and coordinated access to an interpreter for the AVLF attorney and testified as an expert witness in the protective order case.
- Raksha provided interpretation, court accompaniment, emotional support, and assistance with prepping the client for her hearing. Raksha also provided food, toys, and other essentials in addition to assisting the client in applying for public benefits.
- AVLF’s social worker assisted Ms. A in looking into rental assistance, and the AVLF attorney not only provided legal representation to Ms. A to help secure her 12-month Protective Order, but drove her to and from court, a hospital, and the Atlanta Central Records Unit to obtain certified copies of her medical records and police reports.
This collaboration among the Fulton County Solicitor’s Office, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Raksha, and the Fulton County Marshal’s Office is teamwork at its best. We are so proud to work with these organizations to demonstrate how vital cooperative wraparound services are to victims of domestic violence.