One out of every four women experiences domestic violence during her lifetime. Every year Staten Island Legal Services’ Family Law Unit helps more than 300 domestic violence victims escape abuse and achieve financial independence.
SILS provides legal advice and representation to low-income domestic violence survivors in cases involving orders of protection, custody, visitation, child support and divorce. Our team of lawyers and a social worker also collaborate to provide a wide range of other legal and social services to help survivors become independent, including help with emergency shelter and permanent housing, benefits, immigration matters, safety planning, court accompaniment, crisis counseling and help accessing a wide array of social services.
The Family Law Unit is devoted to giving professional training to attorneys, hospitals, immigrant service providers, and other community members who may interact with victims of domestic violence.
Research demonstrates that the only service that reduces domestic abuse in the long term is legal assistance. When women have access to legal help to obtain protective orders, custody, child support and public benefits, they are more likely to achieve the physical safety and financial independence necessary to escape their abusers.