Legal Advocates are committed to helping victims understand their legal rights and available community resources, and how best to manage their personal safety.We offer non-judgmental support, education, and advocacy to victims of domestic violence throughout the legal process. In addition to the legal advocacy, victims of domestic violence have access to the full range of services that Cherokee Family Violence Center offers. This includes access to 24-hour emotional support through our Crisis Line, in-person Crisis Counseling, Emergency Shelter, Long–term Supportive Housing, Support Groups, classes on dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence, and advocacy and referrals to other community resources.
While our legal advocates are not legal counsel, we are available to discuss your immediate legal options with you, and a plan to address longer term legal needs such as divorce, custody, child support and other legal issues. Legal Advocates can also provide clients with a Pro Se Divorce Packet which will offer direction and guidance if clients want to file for a divorce on their own.
Additional services provided by CFVC's legal advocates include:
- Legal Advocates are certified by the court to provide assistance in filing Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs) which provide relief from the Court in the form of an emergency order. TPOs are designed to limit the contact an abusive person is allowed to have with a victim. Legal Advocates provide victims with the documents needed to file for TPOs and assist victims as they prepare their case for court.
- Legal Advocates will advocate with Law Enforcement and other community stakeholders to develop a paper trail to document abuse by developing a written description of abuse, take photographs of physical injuries, and can copy and/or hold physical documentation of abuse including audio or video recordings, medical records, text messages, emails or social networking contacts.
- Legal Advocates can provide assistance in completing an application for Crime Victims Compensation issued through the State of Georgia, designed to assist victims and their families through the emotional and physical aftermath of a crime. The program provides financial benefits and reimbursements for expenses including medical bills, mental health counseling, loss of support and/or earnings, and other incidentals related to victimization.
- Legal Advocates and Legal Program volunteers offer one-on-one meetings to discuss victim needs, and are available to accompany victims to court through civil and criminal proceedings.
- Safety planning is at the heart of the work we do with all victims who have experienced abuse. Legal Advocates will discuss each client’s individual safety concerns, probe for lethality indicators and inform the client of available resources and support. CFVC acts as a resource for developing safety strategies but acknowledges that the client is the best resource concerning her own safety and CFVC’s role is to support her in her goals for safety, whether that is to leave her abuser, reunite with him or to stay in the relationship.