for All Women
1993, inMotion has helped thousands of women free themselves from
abusive relationships, hold onto their homes and win the financial
support that they—and their children —are legally entitled to.
In our first year, with a staff of two, we set out to enlist lawyers
from corporate law firms to represent unfamiliar clients—low-income
women with legal matters that differed from these lawyers’ work
for major institutional clients. Today, we have a bilingual Spanish/English
staff of 16 in offices in Manhattan and the Bronx, who coordinate
more than a thousand volunteer lawyers who represent at no charge
women who need matrimonial, family and immigration law assistance.
We also support women by informing them about their legal options
and coaching them to seek what they need in court on their own,
when they don’t have lawyers. InMotion reaches out to women in
immigrant communities, not fluent in English and unfamiliar with
Today, we know a lot more about the complicated, confusing and
under-resourced systems our clients must navigate than we did
What has changed in the world in the past ten years? There is
a broader awareness of the terrible toll that domestic violence
exacts—from its victims most directly and from society as a whole.
Educators, employers and health care professionals have devoted
escalating resources to prevention of abuse. Judges, court personnel
and the police have designed new strategies to help keep families
safe in their homes and stopping the violence. Nevertheless, domestic
violence is still the overriding reason that women seek our help.
What has not changed since 1993? There are still too few lawyers
for battered women who cannot afford one when they need to get
a divorce, to petition the INS for legal residency or
to seek custody and child support from their abusers. Our courts
still struggle with too few judges and minimal resources to assist
families in crisis. Government funding of civil legal services
for the poor is as precarious as ever. Now, just as it was a decade
ago, accomplishing our mission is critical. As we move into the
next decade, we are more than ever determined to reach our destination—justice
for all women.#
Douglas is the Executive Director of inMotion.
Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001.
Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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