Family Services provides critical legal advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking who are seeking relief in legal matters arising as a consequence of abuse. Our advocates assist victims in completing paperwork for and filing of Temporary Restraining Orders, Permanent Restraining Orders, and Custody Orders. Advocates can file paperwork for the victim if transportation, childcare, or other barriers exist. Advocates provide information and referral to shelter and other support services available in the community and are trained to conduct lethality assessments and safety planning with victims. Advocates can also provide transportation to victims to appointments for services related to their victimization. Family Services' Advocacy and Legal Services currently assists with the following Orders of Protection:
- Temporary or permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
- Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
- Elder Abuse Restraining Orders
- Restraining order renewal
- Response to a Restraining Order
Assistance is also available for survivors who wish to request or modify a Child Custody and Visitation order.
Court Accompaniment & Legal Advocacy
Advocates can accompany victims to Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Order hearings, and provide advocacy within the civil and criminal legal systems. Additionally, advocates can travel to outlying areas to meet victims at police stations, hospitals/clinics, resource centers, or in-home (if the perpetrator is in custody). They update survivors of the progress of their case and prepare survivors and/or witnesses for their day in court. They may also coordinate legal representation for complex cases.
Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Class: An intensive interactive class that covers the dynamics of domestic violence. This class is open to all community members who wish to learn more about domestic violence and its effects. The vast majority of attendees are survivors who have requested to modify or remove an order of protection. No intake needed.
English DV Awareness Class
815 W. Oak Street, Visalia
Spanish DV Awareness Class
735 W. Oak Street, Visalia
Last Friday of every month, 2-4pm
Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic
Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-12pm
Family Law Facilitator, 3400 W. Mineral King Suite C., Visalia
Legal clinics have been established in rural communities to expand access to legal services.
Cutler/Orosi Family Resource Center, 40802 Road 128, Orosi
Woodlake Resource Center, 168 N. Valencia Blvd., Woodlake
Family Services' Goshen Family Center (at Goshen Elementary), 6505 Ave. 308, Visalia
If you would like more information or have any questions about Family Services' Advocacy & Legal Services, please call 559-741-7317.