WHY VOLUNTEERING MATTERS
Our clients are survivors of domestic violence who cannot afford legal representation. If they are indigent, the victims who contact Partners may have been turned away from government-funded legal service agencies due to lack of attorneys and other resources. If they work, salaries earned by the survivors who call Partners place them above the official poverty line, but realistically, they do not have the money for protracted court battles. They may work as teacher’s aides, sales clerks, or secretaries – all low-paying jobs that barely cover the basic necessities for themselves and their children, let alone the costs of a court battle involving legal fees that can run, at the low end, $250 an hour.
Our legal system has made no provision for those who cannot pay a lawyer yet do not qualify for representation by other legal service agencies. Even more serious, a person who owes child support is entitled to representation by a lawyer, because of the threat of jail for failure to pay child support (Pasqua v. Council, 186 N.J. 127 (2006)), but the person asking for child support is not entitled to the same guarantee of representation, because s/he is not faced with the possibility of jail time.
Without the various types of legal assistance Partners provides, many of the survivors we serve would have no choice but to go into family court without legal advice of any kind and without knowing their rights under the law. Many are caught in abusive relationships but have trouble leaving their abusers because of financial dependency or because they have children in common. Our pro bono attorneys help our clients secure protective orders, orders for fair child support awards and safe visitation and custody arrangements. As important, they empower survivors to assert control over their lives and take steps to protect themselves and their children.
Thank you so much for your kindness in my time of need. i nowhave some HOPE.
Thank you for a wonderful life. Keep up the fantastic work on behalf of those of us who cannot fight for ourselves.
This letter is to thank you for all your kindness and your patience with me in my time of need. You made me feel like a person again when things were rough for me. Thanking you again…
Thank you again for all your help. It is a comfort to know that there are caring people like you in this world.
Thank you all very much for all your help advice and support. Without you, I would have been lost.
My thank you seems so small compared to all you’ve done, but it comes from my heart.
…my daughter’s birthday is today…you have given her the best gift of blessings in the form of your help for this case and that her mother can work for her secured and healthy future.