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A legal advocate for a survivor of DV/SA/Stalking, have an incredibly important role to fulfill. While they cannot give a survivor legal advice or predict the outcome of her case, there are many other ways that a legal advocate can assist a survivor as she navigates the legal system. They can explain what a survivors options are, including safety planning, and discuss how those options may affect her safety. They have support skills and community connections that are critical to helping the survivor cope with the additional stress of legal proceedings. Here are some basic ways a legal advocate can help a survivor deal with court and legal matters:
Perhaps one of the most critical pieces a legal advocate can do is help a survivor find an attorney if and when the survivor decides she needs or wants one. The legal needs of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault survivors can be particularly complex issues for which an attorney is highly recommended.
Please seek the advice of an attorney if you are confronted with a specific matter that could involve state or federal laws.