Promoting Equal Access to Justice
Studies show that many challenges faced by low-income, victims of domestic violence, and victims of sexual assault are actually legal in nature and can be fought by an experienced legal professional. Unaddressed, the challenges remain barriers to success, even when basic needs are met by other excellent service providers. ORPE advocacy has the vocation of providing comprehensive legal services to low-income, and victims of crimes including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating, and victims of human trafficking. The DLS has put in place a structure that provides civil legal services and representation to low-income victims in cases involving divorce, custody, and visitation. In addition, DLS has a solid structure designated to help foreign-borns facing immigration challenges including matters involving asylum, refugees, adjustment of status, and related issues. The DLS also has put in place a structure that advocates for “Equal Access to Justice.” This program provides legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, and sexually abused women fighting to obtain or keep the essentials of life—including home, job, benefits, and family—face the complexities of the civil justice system without legal counsel. Because without counsel, they are five to 10 times more likely to lose. ORPE’s Equal Access to Justice program was created within the spirit of reducing this gap.