Verde Valley Sanctuary’s Legal Advocacy Center

Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault need to feel safe and heard. After experiencing abuse, they may endure trauma that will have short and long-term effects on their physical and mental health. Victim advocates step in to be trusted confidants and resources for those in need who may not have anywhere else to turn.

Verde Valley Sanctuary’s Legal Advocates provide informational and emotional support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as they engage with the criminal or civil legal system. The court process can be very challenging, even for those who have experience in court. Survivors may face a number of legal issues that directly stem from, or are complicated by, the actions of those who use abuse.

Services primarily focus on assisting clients with obtaining Orders of Protection, Injunctions Against
Harassment, or pursuing divorce (known as Dissolution in the State of Arizona,) and custody issues (known as Legal Decision Making in the State of Arizona.)

What you can expect from our Legal Advocates

• Safety planning
• Refer clients for legal support if charged in a criminal case
• Victim Rights and Compensation information
• Legal and domestic violence-related resources in your community or other states
• How and where to file for an Order of Protection and your rights if violations occur
• What to expect during a hearing to Contest an Order of Protection
• Divorce, legal separation, custody, and visitation
• Participating in the court system without an attorney
• Reporting domestic violence to law enforcement
• Anti-stalking resources and information

Advocates are also available to provide emotional support for survivors at court
proceedings, supportive services, and referrals for additional community support.
Please note that our Advocates do not act as attorneys and are not able to provide
legal advice.

One client’s testimony “The effect of this service is invaluable! My life could have gone in a
completely different direction. Not only because my safety was at risk, but also because
Legal Advocacy guided me in the right direction to heal and get my life back on track. I
could have turned to drugs and alcohol. I could have even completely given up and
committed suicide because the pain was immeasurable. Instead, with the support I received,
I’m still sober, still safe, have made several improvements to my quality of life, and my
health has improved significantly as well. Despite all of the challenges and speedbumps in
the court process, we made progress where we could, and it has truly changed my life!

A client came to the Legal Advocacy Center. She had a court ordered Legal Separation
for many years. At this time, our client felt the need to move forward in her life, and to
restore her former name. Legal advocates we able to assist her in filing paperwork to
dissolve the marriage as well as to restore her legal maiden name. The divorce
(dissolution) was granted and her name was restored after following the process and
procedures listed on the self-help center of the Yavapai Superior Court. Client stated
being elated and ready to move forward in her life.

Our Advocate shared “As court proceedings began, our client was prepared and well
versed. She was fighting for her three children, and we were there for support on the
benches behind her. Court went according to plan. The judge ruled in the client’s favor:
ruling on the temporary orders for the children’s safety, and the safest place was with our
client. We’re currently preparing for the court hearings for ruling on the permanent orders.
We are confident that our client will be prepared and supported until the end of the

Thank you to our Legal Advocates for making a powerful and positive impact in the
lives of so many survivors!

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