The American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence has published a safety guide for victims of domestic violence and has asked corporations to distribute it to their employees and the general public.
The guides will be available in public restrooms and other places where women can easily obtain the information while retaining anonymity. Anti-domestic violence advocates believe that many women who are not ready to obtain protection orders or other legal help nevertheless want to know what their options are.
The safety guide includes the telephone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which directs women to local resources. Women are advised to keep a packed bag of essential items like case, car keys, court papers, medical records and medicines in case they are forced to flee their homes for safety. It also explains how women can obtain protection orders and file criminal complaints.
Michael Bedke, chair of the Commission, urges lawyers to offer free legal services to domestic violence victims, many of whom cannot afford to pay. These efforts could “make a huge difference in terms of making a real change in the life of a real person,” said Bedke.
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