The Partners Overcoming Domestic Violence Project, a dynamic new pro bono partnership between the Rhode Island Bar Association, Rhode Island Legal Services, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Roger Williams University School of Law, provides direct representation to domestic violence survivors in their divorce, custody, and visitation cases. Comprised of an Advisory Committee, volunteer attorneys, and mentoring attorneys, the Project offers training sessions in domestic violence and family law including court protocol, mock client interviewing and counseling. Following the three comprehensive training sessions held last February, nine domestic violence-related cases were subsequently identified by the Bar's Volunteer Lawyer Program, and assigned to nine attorney/mentor/advocate teams through the Project. To date, these cases are ongoing and domestic violence survivors are receiving representation for divorce, custody, restraining order contempt and visitation.
Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence, gives attendees at the February 6 training session, held at the RI Law Center, a comprehensive look at the reality of domestic violence
l to r: Attorneys Bridgette Louro, Janet Gilligan, and Lise Iwon discuss how to assess a divorce case at the Tuesday, February 9th session held at the RI Law Center