Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
LAWO Honors Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2022
Domestic violence affects all of us. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equals more than 10 million women and men per year.
Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. attorneys and advocates have been fighting for decades to support survivors of domestic violence. Through compassionate, trauma-informed advocacy, they help survivors address the many legal needs that keep them in an abusive relationship. Our Safety and Stability for Survivors (SIS) practice group experts represent survivors throughout our 32-county service area, providing legal representation to individuals experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; removing systemic barriers to safety and security; enforcing laws to protect and improve protections for survivors; working with community partners to establish economic independence for survivors; advocating for meaningful access to courts for survivors; and assisting immigrants facing domestic violence.
Our response to survivors has been to integrate trauma-informed, client-centered practices in our services to both promote and improve access to justice for survivors. A couple recent projects highlight our responses to survivors include:
- The Justice for Families Project: composed of a multidisciplinary team including LAWO, the Lucas County Juvenile Court, the Children’s Rights Collaborative, and Bethany House, this project seeks to reduce violent crime against women and enhance victim safety through advocacy and supportive services for families experiencing domestic violence.
- Project SAFE: Project SAFE –Safety and Accessibility for Everyone – is our latest effort to help survivors with disabilities, a group with unique needs that advocates may inadvertently overlook. Funded through a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Project SAFE is a collaboration among LAWO, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), and Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter in Toledo. Through this initiative, SIS team members spoke to survivors with disabilities about how to create more accessible organizations. One of Project SAFE’s first tasks was a comprehensive needs assessment.
While this work is critical and often difficult, it has not gone unnoticed. This month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, LAWO received two distinct awards for our contributions to assisting survivors. Senior Attorney Carl Anderson was the recipient of the Member Advocacy Award granted by the Domestic Violence Shelter, Inc. in Richland County. The award was received during the shelter's 1st Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kick Off and Advocacy Service Awards Luncheon on October 4. LAWO was also honored to receive the 2022 Marsha Froelich Survivor Award for our services and support to survivors of intimate partner violence. The award was presented by the YWCA of Dayton during their signature Voices Against Violence luncheon, where local domestic violence prevention advocates gather and fundraise for life-changing services for survivors. LAWO was the first organization to receive this meaningful accolade.
We would like to thank all of our caring community partners who help us make a difference in the lives of survivors throughout western Ohio: Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Family Violence Prevention Center of Greene County, Preble County Victim Witness, YWCA Dayton/Preble County, Allen and Putnam County Crime Victim Services, Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Paulding County Victim Assistance, Sarah’s Friends, Sarah’s House, Van Wert Crime Victim Services, Van Wert County Victim Advocate, Williams County Victim Assistance, Allen County Crime Victim Services, Auglaize County Crisis Center, Crossroads Crisis Center, Family Crisis Network, Safe Haven of Hardin County, Safe Harbour- Domestic Violence Shelter (Erie, Ottawa, and Huron County), Child Abuse Prevention Center for Ottawa County, Safe Haven of Ashland, The Domestic Violence Shelter, Inc. (Richland County), The Cocoon Shelter, Child Abuse Prevention Center for Lucas County, Bethany House, and YWCA of Lucas County. It takes a community to combat domestic violence, and we are proud to be in this fight with them all.