Overcoming Domestic Violence
Rosa is the loving mother of four young girls. But her husband was an abusive drug addict from whom she was desperately trying to escape. Rosa had called the police many times, filed numerous domestic incident reports, and was pursuing an order of protection against her husband. She had also contacted various social service agencies trying to get help, but had been repeatedly turned away, and due to her limited English skills did not know where else to turn.
Finally, because of the police reports about domestic violence, children’s services intervened. Instead of helping Rosa and her daughters find safe haven, however, they placed the girls in foster care. Even though Rosa was a victim, ACS believed that she had knowingly put her children in danger. They charged both Rosa and her husband with abuse and neglect. Rosa and her daughters were devastated.
Rosa’s CFR social worker worked with her to help her keep her apartment and get into domestic violence counseling. Her team also helped her to secure an order of protection and get increased visitation with her daughters. During these visits, the girls often cried and repeatedly expressed to the supervising caseworkers and foster parents their wishes to return home to their mother. Rosa’s CFR attorney advocated for the judge to allow unsupervised visits and finally, the family was reunited a few months after their traumatic separation.
Because Rosa was a victim of domestic violence and had not abused or neglected her daughters, her attorney successfully advocated for an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) so that all charges against her would be dropped completely. Today, Rosa and her daughters live happily together, free from the threat of abuse.