Legal Aid Provides Access to Justice for Victims of Violent Crime

AUSTIN, Texas, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day throughout Texas, victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes are struggling to regain control of their lives. In addition to dealing with the emotional trauma of the experience, they often face complicated legal issues resulting from the crime. For example, victims of domestic violence may need protective orders; abuse victims may need assistance with housing issues; and children left parentless due to a crime might be faced with conservatorship issues.

During National Crime Victims' Rights Week (April 13-19), the Texas Access to Justice Foundation is working with the state's legal aid providers to highlight services available to crime victims. Legal aid organizations provide free legal assistance to low-income Texans with civil matters, including problems arising due to violent crimes.

"Many victims of crime are not aware of the legal services available to them," Betty Balli Torres, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. "We encourage those who have been victimized and need legal assistance to call the special hotline that will be available during National Crime Victims' Rights Week."

From April 13th through 19th, a special toll-free hotline (1.800.622.2520) will be available to provide information and referrals for low-income victims of violent crimes in Texas who need legal help. The hotline is available 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time and gives callers the opportunity to speak to a licensed Texas attorney. If more assistance is needed, callers will be referred to local legal aid organizations. In addition to the hotline, people with Internet access may visit http://www.TexasLawHelp.org, a Web site offering a free database of legal aid providers.

With funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and the Texas Office of the Attorney General, legal aid organizations are giving hope to thousands of victims of crime and their families each year. Legal aid service providers offer a wide range of services, including securing protective orders, providing assistance in applying for Crime Victims' Compensation funds, obtaining access to mental health services and much more.

For more information, call the toll-free hotline (1.800.622.2520) or visit http://www.TexasLawHelp.org, a Web site offering a free database of legal aid providers.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texans each year.

Contact: Meg Meo

SOURCE Texas Access to Justice Foundation

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