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The Access to Justice Campaign seeks partnership support from law firms to assist the impactful work of Center for Community Solutions’ (CCS) Legal Team to provide free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
In San Diego County, CCS’ Legal Team helps victims rebuild their lives by providing immediate access to comprehensive no-cost legal services.
CCS’ Legal Team is uniquely equipped to help victims reach their goals of safety, healing, and self-determination.
• The only legal team offering specialized services for victims of sexual assault and the largest pro bono legal team specifically focused on assisting domestic violence and sexual assault victims in San Diego County.
• A county-wide legal team utilizing a holistic, client-centered approach to assisting victims.
With a 90% litigation success rate, CCS Legal Team’s staff attorneys are experienced and cross-trained in 9 practice areas:
Your tax-deductible donation will:
• Fulfill CA’s Pro Bono Resolution (and ABA Model Rule 6.1) – 50 hours per attorney.
• Enable 8 CCS Attorneys to provide legal assistance to more than 1,000 clients per year.
• Save lives. CCS Attorneys are trained in safety planning and crisis intervention for high risk, potentially lethal cases.
The number of domestic violence and sexual assault incidents reported to San Diego County law enforcement remains consistently and unsettlingly high—last year over 17,000 incidents of domestic violence and 750 incidents of sexual assault were reported.
Sadly, these violent crimes are still grossly under-reported, leaving many victims and children vulnerable to continued abuse.
When individuals are traumatized by domestic violence or sexual assault, they often feel ashamed, afraid, and hopeless.
Most victims do not know and understand their legal rights, and even when they do, most do not have the financial means to retain legal counsel.
CCS serves over 9,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year.
Our clients request legal assistance more than any other service, and most clients have multiple unmet legal needs which, if left unaddressed, could further jeopardize their safety.
“I feel like my life is falling apart.” Most of the survivors we help share this sentiment when they first meet with a CCS advocate or attorney.
CCS attorneys help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault regain control over many aspects of their lives that violence and abuse disrupted, having a deep and lasting impact that improves safety, self-determination, privacy, parental rights, employment, housing, and access to education.
Here are stories of our life-saving work:
Lisa (not her real name) who was gang raped by three men whom she went to college with, came to CCS because her privacy rights were violated as part of the criminal case.
During the course of the criminal trial against the three perpetrators, defendants’ attorneys and investigators interviewed her friends, employer, family members, and even old roommates, and told them about the rape charges.
After meeting with Lisa, her CCS attorney learned that her medical, counseling, and victim advocacy records were being subpoenaed by the defendants’ attorneys.
CCS attorneys successfully fought the release of these records. As the presiding Judge stated, “a victim of rape has not lost her right to privacy merely because she has accused someone of rape.”
CCS not only protected her privacy as part of the criminal case; CCS also represented Lisa in her Title IX case against the college, resulting in Lisa receiving the necessary accommodations to receive an education free from harassment.
Anna and her son Nicky (not their real names) fled their home because of her husband’s constant violent abuse.
They stayed at an emergency shelter, and Anna sought and received a restraining order and was accepted into transitional shelter. Because of safety issues, Anna was not able to return to work and applied for unemployment insurance.
When she was denied, CCS successfully represented her in her appeal. Anna’s employer appealed the ruling twice and each time, because of the support of a CCS attorney, Anna prevailed.
Finally, Anna was awarded unemployment payments that helped her and Nicky successfully move forward and rebuild her life. Anna now has another job and will be moving into her own place soon.