With two on-site locations at the Compton and Norwalk Courthouses, CLS provides direct assistance to victims of domestic violence through its Domestic Violence Prevention Program (DVPP). The DVPP is funded by several local cities including Compton, Pico Rivera, Whittier, La Mirada and Bellflower, as well as the County of Los Angeles. It is open five mornings a week from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and it operates under the supervision of an attorney. Victims are assisted with the preparation of restraining order documents, including applications for orders, declarations, temporary restraining orders, and related documents. Program staff also advise clients on court and law enforcement procedures and schedule office appointment for clients needing additional legal services.
Before the DVPP came into existence nearly two decades ago, many victims of domestic violence submitted incomplete restraining order applications, which prevented judges from taking immediate action on crucial requests. Thus, technical and procedural errors left victims and their children vulnerable to their abusers. The DVPP has effectively reduced the problems and errors in paperwork so much so that judges of the Norwalk Superior Court refer persons seeking restraining orders to use the service. Since the DVPP’s implementation, thousands of battered women and their family members have secured the protection they desperately needed through assistance received by the DVPP’s staff. The Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Center (DVLAC) In addition to the court-based DVPP, CLS helps victims of domestic violence and their families to become safe, stable and self-sufficient through a special grant from the County of Los Angeles CalWORKs program. The special funding enables CLS attorneys and paralegals to assist CalWORKs recipients who are victims by completing a comprehensive assessment of the legal services that are needed to stablize their family situation so that they can live independent of the abuser and eventually move to self-sufficiency. Legal services identified in the case assessment are undertaken on behalf of each recipient and generally include court representation.