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6/12/2019

Amy didn't give up.

After suffering severe physical and psychological abuse from her child's father, Amy did the things we encourage domestic violence victims to do: she fled her abuser, got a protection order, obtained full custody of her child, and moved away to seek safety.

But she had difficulty finding safe housing, her son began experiencing serious health problems as a result of the abuse, and her post-traumatic stress disorder became almost unmanageable. She didn't give up.

She reached out...

2/14/2018

No one should be placed in the double bind of needing protection and being punished when they ask for it. But this happened to Amy, a war veteran and domestic violence survivor who had her child taken away when she reached out for help.

We're defending Amy's rights to parent her child, and to not be blamed for the abuse committed against her. So today, we filed a lawsuit against Washington State's child welfare system to hold them accountable for wrongfully separating families.

After suffering sev...

5/10/2017

Will you change lives today?

With your support, Legal Voice identifies and fixes gaps in the law that leave survivors without the protection they need. Together, we change lives.

Have you heard about Maresa? After splitting with her abusive partner, Maresa sought a parenting plan to help provide certainty and safety for their two children. The law is designed to protect people in Maresa's exact situation.

But instead of following the law, the judge refused to include the father's history of domesti...

4/6/2017

We just won justice for our client Rachelle Black! This morning, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously stood with Rachelle and affirmed what we believed all along: that the trial court disfavored Rachelle because of her sexual orientation.

You may remember Rachelle's story: she filed for divorce from her husband after coming out as a lesbian. When creating a parenting plan for the couple's three children, the trial court gave primary custody of the kids to their father, despite the fact that R...

2/22/2017

When a parent asks the court for a protection order to keep their children safe, the court might refuse to include all of the children. Can you believe that??

This is exactly what happened to Jose, who asked the court for a protection order to limit his ex-wife's contact with their three children. She had assaulted their nine-year-old daughter in the presence of the other siblings, leaving all three children in fear of their mother. Instead of granting a one-year protection order to keep them all...

1/6/2017

You know that Legal Voice works in Olympia to pass strong laws to help protect domestic violence survivors. But creating those laws is only the first step. We also monitor Washington courts to ensure those laws are actually being followed.

In Maresa's case, the court didn't follow the law. So we did something about it...and won!

After splitting with her abusive partner, Maresa - who could not afford a lawyer - asked a Pierce County court for a parenting plan for their two children. During his oral...

9/7/2016

For two years, Legal Voice has advocated for Rachelle Black, a mother of three who filed for divorce from her husband after realizing that she is a lesbian. The court in her divorce case not only gave primary custody of the children to the father—despite the fact that Rachelle had been a stay-at-home parent for her children's entire lives—but it also restricted her from discussing religion, homosexuality, or "other alternative lifestyle concepts" with her children. She couldn't even bring her pa...

8/31/2016

Washington State’s Parenting Act helps protect domestic violence survivors and ensure a safe and healthy upbringing for their children by requiring certain restrictions on the abusive parent. When courts fail to impose those restrictions, they put survivors and their children at risk. Yet, that is exactly what happened to Maresa, a mother of two whom we represent in an appeal of her custody case.


After splitting with her abusive partner, Maresa (who could not afford a lawyer) asked a Pierce Coun...

7/20/2016

In 2013, Legal Voice championed the Children of Incarcerated Parents Act, a law that helps incarcerated parents keep their ties to their children. We know that mass incarceration has resulted in far too many families—especially families of color—being permanently separated.

But unfortunately, not all Washington courts are applying the law as it was intended. That means many parents continue to lose their parental rights due to their incarceration.

Edelyn is one of those parents. She lost the right...

6/9/2016

Recent research shows that caregiver discrimination lawsuits—including discrimination based on pregnancy, parenthood, and caring for sick family members—have risen nearly 270% in the last ten years. Surprising? Not really. Upsetting? Completely.
 
Yet on the bright side, people are regularly winning these lawsuits, illustrating the growing recognition of family caregivers in the workforce and how employer policies can support—or harm—their economic security. 
 
Washington State has long been a l...

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