Legal Advocates are often the first face of Denton County Friends of the Family for survivors of sexual or domestic violence as they navigate through difficult and often confusing legal processes.
Denton County Friends of the Family works closely with the District Attorney's Office and has a licensed attorney on staff that consults on legal questions, provides training on relevant legal issues and collaborates with legal services providers to increase pro-bono legal resources for clients.
In addition, staff members and volunteers meet with survivors at court, guide them through the process, provide referrals to attorneys and organizations that provide legal advice and sit alongside survivors in the courtroom during proceedings to offer support.
Why get a Protective Order?
A protective order may prohibit an offender from:
- Committing further acts of domestic violence
- Harassing or threatening the victim
- Going to, or near a school or day-care center that a child protected under the order attends.
Who can get a Protective Order?
- A current or former spouse.
- A blood relative such as a parent, sibling, child etc.
- A relative by marriage (an in-law).
- A person who you have a child in common.
- A household member (such as a current/former roommate).
- A foster parent or child.
- A person who you had a continuing romantic or intimate relationship with.
- Any adult can file for a protective order to protect a minor from family violence.
In addition, a prosecuting attorney or the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services can file an application on behalf of any person alleged to be a victim of family violence.
You may also be able to get a protective order against someone who has sexually assaulted you even if he is not a family or household member (like a co-worker or neighbor).
Legal Advocates will also assist survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to improve their financial safety. Lack of economic stability directly impacts the immediate physical safety of victims who are afraid to leave, because they will not be able to survive without the economic support of the abuser. Assisting clients to obtain financial assistance and autonomy often empowers victims to leave an abusive situation. Program staff and volunteers assist clients in obtaining available resources such as:
- Crime Victims Compensation
- Temporary government aid, including food stamps and Medicaid
- Job training resources and continuing education programs
- Creating budgets and financial plans to care for themselves and their families.