Domestic violence survivors can seek refuge at new on-campus clinic
Domestic violence affects women around the world everyday, and Madison is no exception.
One in four undergraduate female students reported experiencing sexual assault and 50 percent of these students were dating or intimate with their attacker, according to the 2015 AAU Sexual Assault Climate Survey. The World Health Organization also found that nearly 30 percent of women experience intimate partner violence in the Region of the Americas.
Restraining orders are typically the first line of defense for domestic violence survivors seeking protection from an abusive relationship, but not all women can access or afford services to get them. The new clinic hopes to address the gap in legal aid, employing UW-Madison law students to help.
Plans are underway to provide restraining order services in Dane County, as well as Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties, according to Marsha Mansfield, a family law professor and the director of UW Law’s . She says that UW-Madison is “partnering with domestic abuse agencies in each of these counties,” and that these agencies will refer most of their clients to VOCA.
The clinic and the services it provides is funded by a grant from the Department of Justice, Ryan Poe-Gavlinski, the clinic’s new director, explained. The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 is the federal government's means of providing support for programs that serve victims of all types of crime. Each year, federal criminal fines, forfeitures and special assessments are deposited into the government Crime Victims Fund.
The clinic’s primary goal is to provide direct services to people who need restraining orders — to whomever is a victim or survivor.