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legal aid makes all the difference

Tracey* focused on the judge seated before her and felt the intimidating stare of her abusive ex-partner and his high-powered attorney from across the room. She knew by now that he did this to exert control over her; to see if she’d back down or give up the fight to be free of him.

Tracey took a deep breath, and then sighed with relief. Today would be different. She had representation from an attorney at Women Against Abuse; someone who knew exactly what to expect and could expertly advocate for her.

Years earlier, Tracey filed for a protection from abuse order against her abuser when he dislocated her arm. The charges had resulted in a criminal case. She alerted the Department of Human Services when he hit her son, and now they were in court again fighting over custody of their young daughter, just a toddler.

By the time Tracey arrived at the Women Against Abuse Legal Center, she had lost faith in the system, and was emotionally “tapped out.”

With support from her Women Against Abuse attorney, Tracey was able to move through that challenging season. Together, they discussed what evidence could be presented, and she learned new ways to advocate for herself and her daughter. She shares,

“You are only in the court room for a short period of time. You desperately want to be heard. My attorney was able to be the voice for me.”

Women Against Abuse is working each day to transform the court experience for victims of domestic violence so that more families can access justice and remain safe. The Legal Center serves thousands of survivors seeking protection from abuse orders, as well as custody of their children. Given the prevalence of domestic violence in Philadelphia, and the high correlation between intimate partner violence and child abuse, these services are critical.

Today Tracey is a resilient survivor, mother, employee, and champion for others. She no longer lives in fear of her ex-partner, and is a confident advocate as she builds the future she’s always dreamed of for herself and her children. But this is only possible through the generous support of donors like you.

Please consider making a gift today. Your support will allow Women Against Abuse to empower many more survivors like Tracey, and to make sure their voices are heard.

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Justine got to know Eric in college, while working part time at a Virginia-based home improvement store. They began casually dating in 1999, eventually marrying in May of 2006. Looking back, her sister, Lauren, can see the red flags.

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If you or someone you know needs help, call our toll-free 24-hour Hotline:

1.866.723.3014

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