May 2009 • Vol. 29 No. 5 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Help Us Stop Domestic Violence

You can support the Domestic Violence Project through its online auction or by making a direct donation. Find out more here.

EVERY 15 SECONDS—That’s how often a domestic violence victim is beaten in the United States.1 By the time you finish reading this paragraph, one more victim will have received a beating at the hands of a spouse, intimate partner, or significant other. 

LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project—a joint effort with the Los Angeles Superior Court—provides one-on-one assistance to victims in preparing the paperwork needed to get temporary and permanent restraining orders against their assailant. The project also prepares victims for their hearings, assists them with interaction with local law enforcement, and provides them with contacts to local shelters for safety.

Last year alone, DVP served nearly 7,000 victims. In the current economic climate and its accompanying frustrations and despair, the rate of domestic violence is expected to rise to epidemic proportions.

The DVP needs your support. 

It costs the DVP $146 to help one victim of domestic abuse. LACBA asks you for a contribution in that amount, but any donation will be greatly appreciated. Remember, your donation is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law and goes directly to legal services.

How many victims will you help today?

You can support the DVP in two ways:

Domestic Violence Project online fundraising auction. The online auction, scheduled to run through June 1, 2009, with new items being added frequently, features everything from artwork to golf to jewelry to sports tickets and memorabilia to travel, and more. All net proceeds will go to the DVP.

Direct online donation. Both individuals and corporations can make a contribution online using a credit card in the amount they feel most comfortable.

The DVP helps victims of every gender, race, community, and economic class.

Here is Isabella’s story. “One Friday evening, my boyfriend picked me up from work. When we got into the elevator...he demanded my paycheck. I refused. He pressed the emergency button, stopped the elevator, and slammed me against the elevator wall....He cocked his fist, and punched me in the eye. I fell to the floor, and he kicked my body with his shoed feet. Then, he knelt down, put both hands around my neck, and strangled me. When I came to...he was gone.

“[The Domestic Violence Project] staff and volunteers prepared my petition for a restraining order...enjoining my boyfriend from annoying, striking, or harassing me. In addition, the order restricted him from coming within 100 yards of me, my home, and my place of employment. The Domestic Violence Project also prepared me for an upcoming hearing and provided me with social service referrals.”

Home Should Be Safe, Not Terrifying

Nationally, an estimated 11 percent of all people experience violence within their home. Domestic violence follows a pattern of assault and coercion—often including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion—that adults and adolescents impose against their intimate partners.

  • Women of all races are equally vulnerable to attacks by intimate partners.
  • Domestic violence causes more injury to adult women than cancer, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Domestic violence causes more injuries to women between the ages of 15 and 44 than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • One in three women experiences sexual violence in her lifetime.
  • Nearly 100% of children in violent homes hear or see the abuse.
  • 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year.
  • 50% of battered women who are employed are harassed at work by their abusive partners.2

Here is Maria C’s story. “[My husband] said, ‘I’ll smash your face so bad that even your mother won’t recognize you.’ I was afraid for a long time. I’d seen him be violent on the streets, and I believed his threats. He would push me, shove me….Once, when I said I was going to call the cops, he said, ‘Go ahead. Call them. I’m not afraid of the police. But if I get arrested, one of these days I’ll get out. I’ll make sure you’re never able to call the cops again.’ I’ve been so afraid of him that it has made me sick. My doctor said I better do something. That’s why I came to [the project] for help.”

The Domestic Violence Project operates in two courtroom spaces in the Central District (since 1986) and Pasadena District (since 1992) of Los Angeles Superior Court. Generally, the clients are from low-income families that may be experiencing more stress in these disruptive financial times. In addition to one-on-one legal assistance with restraining orders, the project provides services to any client who returns with follow-up questions concerning their existing orders or requests for extensions of their orders.

“At the Domestic Violence Project, access to justice is more than a legal concept. It's real. We assist real people with life-threatening problems, and the rewards are many. The victim is empowered, his or her children receive protection, and the community benefits by the effort,” said Deborah Kelly, Domestic Violence Project Directing Attorney.

Please help the Domestic Violence Project stop the violence. Join the online auction or donate online.

Additional questions may be directed to Deborah Kelly at (213) 896-6491.


1 Peace Over Violence (formerly the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women Los Angeles). 

2 Information collated from reports by the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, Peace Over Violence (Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women), Surgeon General Reports, the U.S.D.A., and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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