AVDA provides legal representation to very low income victims of abuse. That can mean getting protection orders, child custody, divorces, whatever is needed legally, all at no charge. There are six lawyers and six paralegals on the staff. In 2012, they successfully got protective orders or other legal help for 1400 victims, ultimately affecting 4500 adult and child victims. Other than for protective orders, these services are limited (by government mandate) to only those at the extreme end of the poverty level, so we often have to turn people away. We also help victims find temporary shelter for their pets, if needed.
AVDAs other focus is to rehabilitate batterers. Licensed counselors lead group sessions of psycho-educational counseling, hopefully to help stop the cycle of family violence and prevent its spread to future generations. Each participant goes through an 18+ week regimen. They are charged for the program on a sliding scale. Our program was one of four programs selected by the CDC as a national model of program effectiveness. They determined that 80% of our graduates had not re-assaulted in the 30 months after completing the program. Seventy-five percent of their partners reported feeling “very safe,” as opposed to only 15% of those whose batterers had been incarcerated. In 2012, 1200 people attended our program. About 65% graduate. We have group sessions going on constantly, the majority of them court-ordered, consisting of males and females of all races, economic backgrounds and ages. The cold truth is that the only way to truly end domestic violence is to stop the batterers.
Domestic Violence can happen amongst any race, gender or status. AVDA is here to help those with limited resources begin a new life for themselves and their family. Please join us today in supporting this cause.