By Jamie Sabino, Rochelle Hahn and Brian Reichart, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
The COVID-19 crisis has caused another crisis for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. While many of us are “safer at home,” for those who live with their abusive partners, staying at home may pose physical danger.
Accessing the courts to obtain restraining orders is more complicated now that many proceedings are being held virtually and concerns about COVID make it challenging to travel to a physical courthouse. Survivors face significant technological barriers on top of the longstanding difficulties they have confronted in trying to navigate a maze of unfamiliar court procedures and rules, during a time of great physical and emotional distress.
Although courts and advocates have undertaken efforts to ensure that survivors can indeed seek 209A restraining orders, now, more than ever, lawyers are needed to help survivors navigate these challenges. …Read more at Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscription required).
The courses are available for free at www.masslegalservices.org/dvtraining, along with links to attorney volunteer opportunities.