WomensLaw is NNEDV’s newest project, joining NNEDV in 2010 after many years of partnering on issues related to technology safety and confidentiality. WomensLaw was founded in February 2000 by a group of lawyers, teachers, advocates and web designers interested in using the power of the Internet to educate survivors of domestic violence about their legal rights and ways to get help. The mission of WomensLaw is to provide easy-to-understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping domestic violence or sexual assault. By reaching out through the Internet, WomensLaw.org empowers women and girls to lead independent lives, free from abuse. Today, the WomensLaw.org website gets more than 1 million unique visitors each year.
WomensLaw has two components: the WomensLaw.org website and the Email Hotline.
- WomensLaw.org Website: The website provides over 7,500 pages of legal information written specifically for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially for those who are going to be representing themselves pro se in court. The information, revised in accordance with annual legislative changes, is state-specific and written in plain language so that people can comprehend it without the help of a lawyer. We also have federal legal information regarding immigration remedies for victims, DV in the military and information on federal gun laws. The website also provides thousands of pages of non-legal information about different forms of domestic abuse, tips for working with lawyers and preparing for court, listings for telephone hotlines, legal and non-legal resources for every state programs, courthouse contact information, and much more. More than half of the website has been translated into Spanish and new information is added and updated daily.
- Email Legal Hotline: The Email Hotline is a safe, accessible service through which victims, friends, family and advocates can request personalized and anonymous support. Hotline advocates respond to each email, in English or Spanish, tailoring responses to answer each person’s specific needs. The Hotline also supports advocates at local programs by answering their questions with timely, reliable and relevant legal information, helping them support the victims with whom they are working.
For more information or to access these resources, please visit WomensLaw.org.
Recent Project News:
In October 2012, New York state launched the Order of Protection Notification System, which allows someone with a Family Court Order of Protection to be notified by e-mail, text, iPhone/iPad app, telephone, fax or web query, when law enforcement serves the respondent with the paperwork. For more information or to register, visit NY-Alert or the Sheriff's Institute.
- Read more about the service of process for restraining orders in New York on WomensLaw.org.
It is difficult to conceive of what one million people really means. How many nights looking at the sky would it take to see a million stars? How many flowers would it take to behold a million petals?
One million is the average number of people who visit WomensLaw.org each year. Most of them are women in violent relationships looking for legal information: how to file a restraining order, get custody of their children, find a lawyer, or report abuse to the police.
WomensLaw's Legal Director, Stacey Sarver, was featured in her law school's newsletter. Read some excerpts from the article where she talks about her work with NNEDV and the WomensLaw Project:
Stacey Sarver is the Senior Attorney at the National Network to End Domestic Violence and Legal Director of WomensLaw.org, a project of NNEDV.
Stacey explains that the mission of WomensLaw.org is to provide easy-to-understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping domestic violence.
In VA, a new law, passed in 2010, now allows Protective Orders for Family Abuse to be renewed. You can file a "Motion requesting a hearing to extend the order." This must be filed before your protective order expires. Proceedings to extend a protective order are supposed to be given high priority by the court. If you were a member of the respondent's family or household at the time the initial protective order was issued, the court may extend your protective order for a period of up to two years to protect the health and safety of the you or your current family or household member(s). You can file to extend your order more than once.