KATIE KING | OCT 10, 2017
A senior associate at Alston & Bird explains his experiences working with survivors of domestic violence for the Daily Report.
Ed Bonapfel, a senior associate at Alston & Bird, recently wrote a piece for the Daily Report about his experience volunteering for Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation. He took on a number of domestic violence cases in the last year, representing survivors as they asked for court protection from their abusers.
Bonapfel writes about the powerful experience of watching a survivor stand up to her abuser, an action that requires great courage. He writes,
“These cases give me the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing people. My clients have all been wonderful, hardworking people who found themselves in untenable situations and had the courage to stand up and say ‘no more.’ These cases serve as powerful reminders of the resiliency of the human spirit and provide a glimpse into many of the issues that most of us are fortunate enough not to have to face on a daily basis (domestic violence, poverty, child abuse).”
He also highlighted the immense impact the Safe Families Office has: eighty percent of visitors leave with a 30-day protective order; all victims leave with a better understanding of their legal options. In 2016 alone, 2,911 people came to the Safe Families Office for immediate assistance.
My clients have all been wonderful, hardworking people who found themselves in untenable situations and had the courage to stand up and say ‘no more.’
These numbers are achieved through the hard, daily work of AVLF staff who make sure every survivor walks out of their office with a plan and feeling heard. The Safe Families Office is supported by a partnership between AVLF’s Safe and Stable Families Project and the Partnership Against Domestic Violence.
Bonapfel encourages other attorneys to donate “their most valuable asset, their time,” reminding prospective volunteers that AVLF staff is there to help you every step of the way.
Read the full story on the Daily Report.
Want to read more volunteer experiences? Check out the rest here. Spoiler alert: people really love volunteering for AVLF.