This course covers the essentials every advocate needs to know to do legal advocacy with domestic violence survivors. We will cover the criminal legal system, family law basics, and how to provide survivor-centered legal advocacy.
Completing this course constitutes 8 self-study hours.
Part I: Introduction to legal advocacy
In this section, we will build a basic understanding of what legal advocacy looks like and the distinction between legal advocacy and practicing law.
- Read this presentation as an Introduction to Legal Advocacy
- Go to the Trauma Informed Legal Advocacy (TILA) Project website and read through at least 3 different resources
Part II: Survivor-centered legal advocacy
In this section, we will dig into how to do survivor-centered legal advocacy and take a look at the pressures from the legal system, what makes this work difficult, and how to stay survivor-centered in the face of competing priorities.
- Answer the following reflection questions about your views on the legal system:
- Have you ever used the court system to settle a dispute, or been involved in a criminal case? If so, do you believe the parties involved were treated fairly (whether you “won” or not)?
- Do you have generally positive, or generally negative feelings about the police?
- How do you feel about attorneys and judges?
- Do you think that the law enforcement and court systems are successful? Do they protect people?
- Read the article Remembering Who We Work For and answer these reflection questions:
- Why do you think the author warns us that “some alliances threaten to blur the distinction between advocates and the criminal justice system altogether”?
- What would your response be to the question: How can we work in and with the civil and criminal justice system and remain distinct and separate from them?
- What are the intended and unintended consequences of the legal reforms encouraged by the domestic violence movement?
- Watch the webinar below on Survivor-Centered Advocacy
Part III: Essential things to know
In this section, we will learn more specifics about how things work in criminal and civil court in order to better support survivors as they navigate these systems.
Read through the following presentations:
Part IV: Important resource
Check out the Legal Advocacy Essentials manual and refer back to it as you continue to encounter new parts of legal advocacy with domestic violence survivors in Washington!