IN THE COURTROOM:

For any crime victim, navigating the legal process can be intimidating. In a domestic violence case, the process usually feels even more overwhelming because of the close relationship between the victim and the defendant, and the complicated nature of the impact of the abuse. The Court Support Program ensures that a person does not have to go through this process alone. Trained volunteers:

 

  • Provide emotional support throughout the criminal legal proceedings;

  • Describe the criminal court process and help someone know what to expect;

  • Clarify legal language and make sure a victim of domestic violence understands their court documents;

  • Help to arrange transportation to and from the courthouse;

  • Accompany the individual to criminal court proceedings so they do not have to be alone while waiting to testify;

  • Assist a victim of domestic violence in developing a safety plan for coming to court;

  • Work with court personnel to make sure that the victim feels safe getting to and leaving the courtroom.

 

BEYOND THE COURTROOM:

Domestic violence has pervasive impacts that extend far beyond the courtroom. A number of factors, including a victim’s housing, financial security, children, and immigration status may be intertwined with the defendant. The abuse may have created emotional and psychological scars that need healing. Victim Support Volunteers also:

  • Help someone make decisions about their safety, whether they remain in the relationship or decide to end it;

  • Facilitate referrals to community-based services that address the impact of the abuse, like counseling, safe-housing, or advocacy programs;

  • Connect someone to the City Attorney Victim Assistance Program to address financial impacts of the crime;

  • Help someone understand how their criminal case impacts other court cases, and provide referrals to legal resources that can address their specific needs.

COURT SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS...

  • Are members of the community who understand that the legal process can be confusing and volunteer their time to be an additional source of support for victims of domestic violence crimes handled by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

  • Are caring and empathetic individuals who are committed to helping a person who has been victimized to connect with resources.

  • Receive specialized training about the court process, counseling skills, and services available for individuals who have experienced domestic or intimate partner violence.

  • Are NOT prosecutors. Though they are volunteers within the City Attorney’s Office, their primary concern is to assist the victim in the case and to provide emotional support and referrals to vital resources.

 

 

domestic violence

court support

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The Office of Mike Feuer

Los Angeles City Attorney

James K. Hahn City Hall East, Suite 800

Los Angeles, CA 90012 | 213-978-8100