Legal Advocacy Services
SafeHouse’s Legal Advocates provide assistance and support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as they engage with the criminal or civil legal system. These services include matters involving criminal charges against the batterer, matters involving criminal charges against the survivor, obtaining and enforcing personal protection orders, pursuing divorce and child custody issues, landlord/tenant issues, and other matters. Legal Advocates are also available for court accompaniment to all court hearings.
Please note that our Legal Advocates do not act as attorneys for survivors and are not able to provide legal advice. Legal Advocates, however, are available to survivors to discuss their legal rights, the legal process, possible outcomes and to provide information that will help survivors make informed decisions about whether to engage in the court process.
Services provided by Legal Advocates include but is not limited to:
- Acting as a liaison, as an “interpreter” of legal jargon and proceedings, and a personal advocate for survivors in court proceedings. This means explaining to the survivor as necessary what unfamiliar legal terms mean, letting the survivor know what they can expect to happen next in the legal process, and advocating for certain actions or responses with prosecutors, police, attorneys, probation officers as requested by the survivors
- Accompanying the survivor to court proceedings within Washtenaw County (and occasionally outside of Washtenaw County)
- Providing assistance in filing for crime victims’ compensation, preparing victim impact statements for sentencing, and preparing applications for Personal Protection Orders
- Providing technical assistance to police, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and/or attorneys (consistent with confidentiality) regarding dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault, safety planning, etc.
Legal Advocates are available to meet to discuss how you are feeling and also provide referrals to other community resources.
It is our priority to support you in whatever decisions you make about engaging with the legal system and to assist you in identifying your rights and options as a survivor.
To contact a Legal Advocate, please call our HelpLine at (734) 995-5444.
Personal Protection Orders
For Personal Protection Orders (PPOs), an advocate may also be available to meet with you at our office located in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court (downtown Ann Arbor). This office is generally open Monday through Friday, and you can call (734) 222- 3381 to schedule an appointment.
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