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Grants make it easier for domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors to receive legal help

Grants make it possible for domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors to receive legal help
Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 11:28:08-04

WISCONSIN (NBC 26) — Dozens of domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors across Wisconsin will soon be getting the legal help they need.

That is all thanks to a grant distributed by The Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, a non-profit is helping increase access to legal aid for domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors.

"We're talking about connecting a potentially vulnerable population with legal help that they desperately need to secure that safety and financial independence,” said Rebecca Murray, the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation executive director.

Last month, the foundation announced it will be distributing $450,000 dollars in legal services to twelve organizations across the state.

One of the recipients was Golden House in Green Bay, a non-profit serving domestic violence victims.

It received more than $37,500 dollars in grant money.

"We have open office hours where clients that are experiencing domestic violence can meet with an attorney to talk to them about their case... this wouldn't be possible without the funding of WisTaf to be able to pay for that attorney to come in,” said Marissa Heim, Golden House grants and outreach manager.

The funding can also be used to pay for restraining orders, negotiating child placement, and more.

"The reality is that meaningful access to the court system and to professional legal assistance remain a barrier for many Wisconsinites. Then when you add to that the isolation and the stigma that comes with domestic violence and sexual abuse. This is intended to break the cycle,” Murray said.

Heim said everyday they have people reaching out to them for a wide variety of services.

"In the month of June alone we had over 600 incoming helpline calls. So people reaching out to us, accessing our services via phone, text message, email,” Heim said.

With support services from legal aid professionals, victims are able take a step forward as they navigate their healing journey.

If you or a loved one needs help or is in danger you can call the Golden House 24 hour helpline at 920-432-4244.

There is also a 24 hour text line you can also send a message. That number you can text is 920-770-6415.

Golden House provides emergency, temporary shelter to those fleeing an unsafe relationship. If you need help understanding the requirements of filing a restraining order, or if you need someone to walk you through the process, you can set up an appointment by calling 920-435-0100.