Thanks to a $100,000 subgrant of federal STOP grant funds awarded by the Director of State Courts Office, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services in Oshkosh has begun funding legal representation for victims of domestic violence who need representation in family law matters. The program was developed collaboratively by the Access to Justice Commission, Christine Ann Center, Winnebago Family Court Commissioner’s Office, and the Winnebago County Bar Association. The grant funds will be used to pay private attorneys who have been trained to represent abuse victims who receive other support services from Christine Ann.
In October Tess Meuer, of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, conducted a training for 13 local attorneys, each of whom agreed to participate in this project. To date, there are 11 active cases being handled by 11 different attorneys.
Fran Price, the legal advocate at Christine Ann who is managing the project, is pleased with the level of interest and service being provided to domestic violence victims who may not otherwise have received any legal assistance with their family law matters. She has received referrals from Legal Action of Wisconsin and REACH, as well as serving clients who already are receiving services from Christine Ann. She expects that the demand will continue to grow as the project becomes more widely known in the community.