For domestic violence victims, going to court is often the last step in leaving the situation they are in, but the cost for this legal help sometimes prevents them from being able to move on.
The crisis centers have all noticed this problem, but for years have not had the funds to help. Now a grant has allowed them to provide this key service.
"These funds provide a lifesaving service to these people,” said Jessica Klopper, community education at the Panhandle Crisis Center
Despite offering counseling and other resources the organizations felt in order to help survivors move on, these people had to obtain legal freedom.
They noticed a lot of survivors having housing issues leaving their situation or were scared of losing their children.
To help they would connect the victims to outside legal organizations, but that was not enough as these organizations sometimes couldn’t help with their type of cases or the victims did not qualify.
“These are people who would not have been able to have this kind of help at all,” said Dee Dee Laramore, Executive Director at Tralee Crisis Center "I’ve seen a real difference in the attitudes of the victims, you know they walk in and feel completely defeated, and they come in and have this help available to them and even as they walk out the door, we see a difference, like their head is up and their shoulders are back.”
The grant they have all decided to share will allow those in the panhandle to get financial help with consultation fees with attorneys, legal representation, court costs for obtaining protective orders, divorce, child custody, housing and immigration issues among others.
For those who may have already started the process with an attorney but are now unable to pay, they can also help cover those fees.
“It could be as little as the smallest or the biggest amount, to provide that fee to them and check that box it is for them to move forward and step away from the situation they were in and start their own life,” said Klopper
The Tralee Crisis Center says the coronavirus has also affected them, as it has been harder to reach people with places closed, but for anyone who may need their help, they are reachable through their regular phone number (806) 669-1131 or hot line number 1800-658-2796