Website Offers Free Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LawHelp.org/NY Provides Victims & Advocates with Resources to Stop the Cycle of Violence

One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. A New York Task Force, appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to investigate the increased legal needs of low income New Yorkers following the economic downturn and the lack of adequate legal services to respond to that need, found a 67% increase in the need for legal assistance related to domestic violence. The Task Force also found that immigrant victims of domestic violence were seeking legal assistance in greater numbers to pursue the protections found in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins, LawHelpNY (www.LawHelp.org/NY) wants New Yorkers to know about the hundreds of helpful resources for domestic violence victims and advocates available in English and other languages from the LawHelpNY website. Visitors to the LawHelpNY site will find easy-to-understand information about what constitutes domestic violence; how to get an order of protection; how domestic violence affects housing issues, public benefits, the rights of children, and special populations such as immigrants. LawHelpNY also provides referrals to local legal aid organizations throughout the state that can help. The website is available in Spanish at www.AyudaLegalNY.org.

LawHelpNY's LiveHelp is an online, real-time chat service that guides visitors to the information they need. It provides personalized service to domestic violence victims. LiveHelp is also available in English and Spanish.

LawHelpNY is part of the national LawHelp.org network of nonprofit legal information portals that empower individuals to help themselves. "Victims of domestic violence may not know where to turn for critically needed legal assistance and, in many cases, cannot afford to hire an attorney," said Liz Keith, LawHelp Program Manager at Pro Bono Net, which developed the national LawHelp.org network. "LawHelp can easily be accessed from anywhere, for example from a computer at a public library, to find referrals for free legal services, information about legal rights and, often, free online forms and other tools for self-help."

LawHelpNY is New York's online source of free legal aid referrals, know-your-rights information and a variety of self-help tools. LawHelpNY is maintained by the New York LawHelp Consortium, of which Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit leader in increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged, is a member. LawHelpNY was launched in 2001 and now serves more than 500,000 visitors a year. LawHelp.org was developed with support from the Legal Services Corporation.



LawHelp.org/NY is a Collective Project of:


Pro Bono Net
The City Bar Justice Center
The Legal Aid Society of New York City
Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
Volunteers of Legal Service
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

Empire Justice Center
New York State Bar Association
Legal Services NYC
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
Nassau /Suffolk Law Services



About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms-www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lawhelpinteractive.org -to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities. Pro Bono Net has also developed Pro Bono Manager, pro bono practice management software that helps AmLaw 200 law firms increase pro bono participation, manage pro bono caseloads more efficiently and raise internal and external awareness of pro bono efforts. For more information, please visit www.probono.net.