Legal Assistance Archives - Human Options

Success Stories: Miranda’s Story

Thinking that dating after abuse was impossible, Miranda found love and hope once more. After five years of breaking free from her abusive partner, Miranda thought she and her children were finally free from all the trauma they endured and could start over. Until one night, her abusive partner showed up to Miranda’s new home, threatening to kill her and her new partner. Miranda’s way for safety was to obtain a Restraining Order.    Miranda called the South Orange County Family Resource Center seeking help from one of our Legal Advocates. In the past, Miranda had attempted to obtain a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (DVTRO) against her ex-partner, but…

Staff Spotlight: Gisela Barroso, Legal Advocate

Gisela joined the Human Options family as a Legal Advocate in January and is a team member at Corbin Family Resource Center. Gisela quickly became an essential part of the team, helping many of our families through Legal Advocacy services. Gisela is a graduate of the University of La Verne in Criminology. She has experience in working at the OC Sheriffs Crime Lab, as a Medical Interpreter, and as a Hotline Advocate.  Gisela enjoys dancing, skating, listening to music, and hiking in her spare time.  When asked about her experience at Human Options so far, Gisela shared, “What I like most about being a Legal Advocate, is that I get…

Success Stories: Julia’s Story

Julia did not leave her home for years, living in the shadow of her abusive husband.  Fearing for the safety of her daughters, she moved to an unfamiliar city in an attempt to start a new life.  She knew she needed to escape the tumultuous and abusive relationship with her husband and be strong for her daughters. Through counseling, Julia embarked on the journey to healing from the traumatic abuse she suffered from her ex-husband. Our services helped to give her the confidence to leave her home, a sense of safety and hope. Since entering our programs, Julia has become optimistic about the life she will continue to have with…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Pro-Bono Attorney Melinda Gomez

One key component in ending the cycle of relationship violence is ensuring access to legal services for survivors. Human Options offers eight monthly clinics through our legal advocacy program thanks to our volunteer pro-bono attorneys. One such attorney is Melinda Gomez of Gomez Family Law. “I began volunteering at Human Options while in law school, and after I began my practice, was honored to start the first non-residential monthly family law clinic for the agency almost 7 years ago,” says Melinda. “Every month, I get the chance to assist survivors of domestic violence with understanding their legal rights, and how to advocate for themselves in court. Human Options provides immeasurable…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Pro-Bono Attorney Christina Helwig

Access to legal support is critical to survivors of relationship violence. Through our Human Options legal advocacy program, clients are able to receive pro bono legal advice through our monthly clinics. One of our pro-bono attorneys is Christina Helwig of Helwig Law, who has been donating her time to Human Options clients for over 7 years. “I volunteer with Human Options because I believe in the work they do and I have seen firsthand the difference that a stable living environment has on my clients,” says Christina. “I love seeing my clients grow and change through the legal process. Human Options makes my job easier with their great support programs.”…

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Turning the Tide Against Domestic Violence Through Legal Assistance

Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the United States each year.[1] Female survivors of domestic violence lose almost 13.6 million days of productivity due to violence every year—that is over eight million days of paid work, or 32,000 full time jobs[2]. Domestic violence is a complex issue, and at Human Options we have always worked to offer a holistic range of services to our clients to encompass that complexity. Among those is our Legal Advocacy Program, which provides legal information and resources to survivors of domestic violence. A new article by Fox News is one of several recent publications indicating that…