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Opening a Door to Help

Legal Services Programs' Key Role in Representing Battered Immigrant Women and Children

By Leslye Orloff, Amanda Baran, Laura A. Martinez- McIntosh & Jennifer Rose

Civil orders of protection are an important tool in thwarting domestic violence, but most victims, especially immigrants, need legal representation to ensure meaningful access to this tool. Programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation are prohibited from representing many immigrants, but the Kennedy Amendment exempts many battered immigrant women and children from this restriction. Under the amendment, such funded programs may represent otherwise ineligible immigrant women and children on a wide range of matters, provided that the service is directly related to the abuse.

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