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National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws:

UPDATED March 26, 2010

When the Legal System Fails You

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Nothing can be more frustrating than when you feel that the judge or lawyer on your case is not performing their work properly. Sometimes you feel that the judge or lawyer isn’t paying enough attention to your case or is not considering domestic violence as a critical issue when deciding a protection order, custody or divorce case. It can also be frustrating when you cannot afford a lawyer but your local legal services organization has turned you down. Here are some ideas/ options to consider when you feel “the system” (judges and lawyers) has failed you.

Reach out for help

back to topOrganizations to contact

Contact a local domestic violence organization. They have no doubt come across similar situations before and can help you think through your situation and possibly develop a plan to obtain a better legal arrangement.  They can also provide you with emotional support and counseling. To find a domestic violence organization in your area please click here:  State and Local Programs.

You can also contact the State Coalition Against Domestic Violence in your state. The State Coalitions Against Domestic Violence work to impact public policy and legislation which affect battered women.  If you have had any problems with a judge or a lawyer, someone at the Coalition may able to help you or at least channel you in the right direction on how to approach these issues. 

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back to topFor battered women who lost custody

If the abuser gets custody of your children or if there is a real threat that the abuser will get custody of your kids, you may want to check out the Battered Mothers Custody Conference website at http://www.batteredmotherscustodyconference.org. The Conference includes presentations, round-table discussions, and question answer sessions with nationally distinguished professionals whose work is focused on resolving the complex issues facing battered women as they struggle to protect themselves and their children in and out of court during custody and visitation disputes.

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