During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, www.LawHelpMN.org Provides Victims & Advocates with Resources to Stop the Cycle of Violence
Legal Information Site Offers Referrals, Information and Self-help Tools
Saint Paul, Minnesota – October 3, 2012
One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins this October, Legal Services State Support wants Minnesotans to know about resources for domestic violence victims and advocates on www.LawHelpMN.org (LawHelpMN). LawHelpMN is part of the national LawHelp.org network of nonprofit legal information portals that empower individuals to help themselves.
Visitors to LawHelpMN will find easy-to-understand information about what constitutes domestic violence; orders of protection; issues related to housing rights, public benefits and children; and the needs of special populations such as immigrants. LawHelpMN also provides referrals to local legal aid organizations that can help. Many of these resources are available in languages other than English.
LawHelpMN was recently relaunched with a new design, making it even easier to navigate, and additionally features LiveHelp, a real-time, online chat service that helps guide visitors to the information they need.
Through links to LawHelp Interactive, a free, online system for completing legal forms, LawHelpMN allows victims and advocates to quickly and easily find and complete needed documents, such as a court form to obtain an Order of Protection.
LawHelpMN is Minnesota’s online source for free legal aid referrals, know-your-rights information and a variety of self-help tools. The website is maintained by Legal Services State Support, in conjunction with Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit leader in increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged. LawHelpMN was launched in 1999 and now serves about 200,000 visitors each year. The LawHelp.org websites were developed with support from the Legal Services Corporation.
“Victims of domestic violence may not know where to turn for critically needed legal assistance and, in many cases, cannot afford to hire an attorney,” said Liz Keith, LawHelp Program Manager at Pro Bono Net. “LawHelp can easily be accessed from anywhere … to find referrals for free legal services, information about legal rights, and free online forms and other tools for self-help.”
About Legal Services State Support
State Support is a project of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, and provides support to legal aid programs across the state that help low-income Minnesotans address civil legal issues. Through community education about legal rights and services, State Support empowers those with limited means to address legal issues they face.
About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms—www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lawhelpinteractive.org —to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities. Pro Bono Net has also developed Pro Bono Manager, pro bono practice management software that helps AmLaw 200 law firms increase pro bono participation, manage pro bono caseloads more efficiently and raise internal and external awareness of pro bono efforts. For more information, please visit www.probono.net.