Domestic Violence

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & VICTIM SERVICES

Pro Bono Opportunities
Community Service Opportunities

PRO BONO OPPORTUNITIES

Students interested in legal placements should contact the Public Service Coordinator for more information.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)--St. Louis City

St. Louis City Court Appointed Special Advocates' mission is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. CASA promotes and supports quality volunteer representation for children and advocate for safe, permanent, and nurturing homes for each child.

  • Opportunities: legal internships representing children, organize book drives for book project, maintain children's waiting room, office work, volunteering at fundraising events (such as a 5K walk in October); appointment as Guardian ad litem
  • Qualifications/Requirements: background check, interview, special training (have a weekend session for students); hours are flexible
  • Contact: Mary Taylor, Executive Director, 920 N. Vandeventer, St. Louis 63108, 552-2120, fax 535-8870, Slcitycasa@aol.com, www.stlcitycasa.org

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)--St. Louis County

County CASA advocates for abused and neglected children in need of safe and permanent homes, consults with all affected parties and professionals, monitors service plans and their implementation, assists with guardian ad litem duties when requested, and conducts independent investigation and prepares reports for the courts.

  • Opportunities: advocate for abused or neglected child as an officer of the court, make all contacts and access all recording pertaining to the child to determine what is in his/her best interest; may also serve as "Friends of CASA" volunteer
  • Qualifications/Requirements: must attend an informational meeting, interview, background (criminal and child abuse/neglect) check, training (33 hours over 3 week period); after training is complete, requires approximately 15 hours per month time commitment
  • Contact: Allie Ray, 121 S. Meramec, 2nd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63105, 615-2908, fax 615-0621, information@casastlcounty.org

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation

Provides legal and supportive services to improve the lives of its clients to assist them in obtaining social and economic justice.

  • Opportunities: serve as a legal intern in the senior citizens, homeownership, or domestic violence projects; interns typically interview clients, investigate cases, draft pleadings, and in some cases represent clients in administrative or court hearings
  • Qualifications/Requirements: prefer 2Ls and 3Ls, prefer students who can make a two semester commitment; interview, training provided by directing attorney; can take 2-4 weeks before an internship can start; requires 10 hours per week (Monday through Friday)

Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW)

LAAW is dedicated to helping victims of abuse during times of crisis, working within the legal system, law enforcement and courts. LAAW provides crisis intervention and support, legal information and advocacy, safety planning, and legal an social service referrals for victims of abuse who have been battered, stalked or harassed. LAAW also specializes in providing free legal representation at order of protection hearings for low-income victims of abuse.

  • Opportunities: crisis line support and legal information, intake for orders of protection, court advocate for City of St. Louis civil court (meet with petitioners and offer information, support and referral), legal intern opportunities
  • Qualifications/Requirements: application, interview, resume; 30 hours of training required (training is offered three times a year); the time commitment is one shift of 3½ hours per week (Monday-Friday) but other arrangements may be available, would like 6 months-1 year commitment

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

LSEM is a private, non-profit organization providing legal assistance and equal access to justice for low-income people in civil cases. Some of the areas addressed by the office include: domestic violence/family law, subsidized housing, homelessness (including homeless adolescents), homeowners' mortgage default and foreclosure, elderly issues, AIDS, health and welfare, immigration, access for children to appropriate educational services, and the volunteer lawyer program.

  • Opportunities: legal interns needed for above departments; tasks include: client intake, drafting pleadings and motion, filing at courthouses, research, assisting with interviewing clients, setting court dates, case management, drafting financial agreements, investigation, and advocacy.
  • Qualifications/Requirements: positions for all level students, some positions have preference for Rule 13, immigration unit prefers students who have had immigration class(es) and speak a second language; initial screening and then interview with attorney in desired unit; hour long orientation required


Community Service Opportunities

Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments (ALIVE)

ALIVE is a nonprofit organization that provides accessible and affordable alternatives to victims of family violence and their families. ALIVE works to eradicate family violence by providing short-term emergency sanctuary, support services, and community education. ALIVE models the philosophy of empowerment. Services for victims of domestic violence and their families include a crisis line, individual counseling, support groups, court advocacy, education and training, referrals, and transportation.

  • Opportunities: Work as a crisis line volunteer, providing referrals and support to victims of domestic violence (can be done from home even if have pager or cell phone for ALIVE to contact you if there's a crisis call); serve as court advocate, assisting clients through divorce proceedings or in obtaining orders of protection
  • Qualifications/Requirements: Volunteers must be interviewed and go through training; would like time commitment of 6 months-1 year (working several days/evenings/weekends per month)
  • Contact: Jennifer Gadsky, P.O. Box 11201, St. Louis, MO 63105, 993-7080, fax 567-5629, alivevolunteers@hotmail.com

Family Support Network

The Family Support Network is a nonprofit, social service agency that works to prevent child abuse through direct services, education, and community-based collaboration.

  • Opportunities: volunteer case aide (assist low income families with transportation, support for general living skills, tutoring/mentoring children, respite for parents), office support (mailings, answering phones, etc.), special events (event planning, preparation, and participation)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: must complete volunteer packet and orientation (approx. 1 hour), police record check and child abuse check; 1-2 days/week for office work, 1 day/week with families (approximately 2 hours)
  • Contact: Tracy Hermanson, 29 North Gore Ave., St. Louis 63119, 963-1450, fax 963-9571, famsupnet@aol.com

Kathy J. Weinman Shelter for 
Battered Women & Their Children

The Shelter's mission is to help abused women and their children break the cycle of violence in their lives by providing critical assistance in the search for safety and human services. It encourages abused women to take hold of their futures and find productive living solutions for themselves and their children. The shelter offers: safety planning, shelter/food/clothing, individual crisis counseling, support groups, information and referrals, advocacy to assist women (medical, legal, and social service), follow-up programs, parenting classes, community education, and child therapy programs.

  • Opportunities: referral, childcare activities (including tutoring), clerical work and general support, donations management, special skills (e.g., informational lectures, job search workshops, organizing donations drives, conducting tours of local campuses)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: must work independently, must be flexible, and must have a passion for women's issues; call shelter to discuss interests, complete confidentiality agreement, child abuse background screening, complete 5 hour training (usually held in April and October); 3 hour time commitment for one year
  • Contact: Michelle Rhode, P.O. Box 5852, St. Louis, MO 63134, 423-1117, fax 423-7537

Life Source Consultants, Inc.

This group is a non-profit organization serving women (and their children) who are victims or survivors of physical, mental, verbal, or sexual abuse, rape or incest. Life Source consultants offers a 24-hour crisis helpline, crisis intervention counseling, case management and follow-up, licensed therapy, support groups, court advocacy, a resource center, education, outreach and prevention services, and a children's playroom. Approximately 95% of the population served is African-American.

  • Opportunities: Crisis line, court advocacy with accompaniment for Ex parte - Full of Order of Protection and divorce hearings, case management, referrals and assistance with dealing with Division of Family Services, co-facilitate weekly support groups, administrative assistants
  • Qualifications/Requirements: Interview and basic training; volunteers should have an interest in domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Contact: Shirley Stevens, 385-8588, fax 385-8364, 327 Northland Center Office Building, St. Louis 63121; lifesc@earthlink.net  

Lydia's House

Lydia's House is transitional housing for women and children leaving situations of domestic violence, and providing shelter for as long as 6-24 months. Women receive support, information and referrals; children attend weekly support groups. Lydia's House also engages in community education and outreach.

  • Opportunities: Provide childcare for support group; tutoring; pick up and organize donations; bring a group to repair, paint or decorate an apartment; help on Board to plan special events; help with fundraising
  • Qualifications/Requirements: child abuse/DFS screening, domestic violence training; time commitment varies form a 1 day/3 hour project to an ongoing 2 day/2 hour project per week
  • Contact: Cathy Sandy, Volunteer Coordinator, P.O. Box 2722, St. Louis 63116, 771-4411, fax 772-9866, csandy@lydiashouse.org

St. Charles County Victims of 
Crime Assistance Program

The mission of the program is to enable victims of crime to begin their recovery as soon after the crime as possible through providing urgent emotional support, mobilizing all available resources in the community, and educating and preparing the victim for encounters with the criminal justice system. The goal is to make the system more responsive to victims' needs and make the process as convenient and understandable as humanly possible.

  • Opportunities: Volunteers will advocate, educate victims about the criminal justice system, provide courtroom escort, provide crisis intervention, manage cases, provide community resource information and referrals, and support victims of crime including victims of domestic violence in need of protective orders
  • Qualifications/Requirements: criminal record check and drug screen, interview, application, resume, transcript, will provide training; minimum of 8 hours per week time commitment (any time from 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday)
  • Contact: Kurt Woodfin, LCSW; 300 N. 2nd St., Suite 601, St. Charles, MO 63301; 636-949-7900 x5811; fax 636-949-7360; phill@mail.win.org

St. Louis City Office of the Circuit Attorney, Victim Service Unit

Victim Services was established by the Circuit Attorney's office in 1979 to act as a liaison between the criminal justice system and the crime victim. Its mission is to eliminate re-victimization of St. Louis crime victims. Victim Services' staff and interns provide a wide range of services to those crime victims whose cases are pending prosecution in the City of St. Louis, including case management, crisis counseling, victim/witness relocation, and community awareness.

  • Opportunities: court advocacy for victims, criminal justice and victim rights education; students may also organize Victim Rights Week (held in April)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: interview, background check, basic training (held in the fall, spring/winter, and summer); time commitment of 8 hours per week for one and/or two semesters, Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Contact Information: Malika Poindexter, 1320 Market Street. Room 222, St. Louis, MO 63103, 622-4373, fax 622-3369, poindexterm@stlouiscity.com
  • Directions: Take the Medical School Shuttle to Forest Park Metrolink. Go east on to Keil. Walk north on 14th street (along the Keil Center) to Market Street. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office is on the corner. It is in the Municipal Building - a big gray building with many stairs up to the front door.

St. Louis County 
Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 
Victim Service Division

The Victim Service Division (VSD) is a division of the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, established to assist victims during the aftermath of crime. VSD provides a variety of services to victims of crime in St. Louis County, which are individualized based on the victim's needs. Assistance includes crisis intervention and emergency assistance, information and referral, information about police and court procedures, court preparation and court accompaniment, and assistance in completion of ex part orders of protection.

  • Opportunities: volunteer victim advocate (assist domestic violence victims in completion of ex parte order of protection, accompany crime victims to hearings/trials/sentencings)--a good opportunity to gain knowledge of the criminal justice system and victim rights and manage own caseload of crime victims
  • Qualifications/Requirements: interview, criminal background check, 40 hours of training in the beginning of the volunteer work (it takes 3-4 weeks, depending on the number of hours the student is available each week; trainings are in January, June and September, so interviews must be completed before those dates); 4 hours per week is required from each volunteer and would prefer a semester commitment, office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm
  • Contact: Susie Barreca or Jamie Helmhol, 7900 Carondelet Avenue, Plaza Level, Clayton, MO 63105, 615-4872, fax 615-7590, s_barreca@stlouiscounty.com

V-Day 

V-Day is an international campaign to raise awareness of and call for an end to violence against women.  Last year, in addition to producing “The Vagina Monologues,” Washington University V-Day organized a benefit concert, offered a workshop on how to support survivors of sexual assault and presented an art extravaganza.

  • Opportunities: Producers, players, stage crew, artists, publicists, fundraisers and other volunteers concerned about violence against women.
  • Qualifications/Requirements:  Commitment to end domestic violence against women
  • Contact Information:  Jenny Szczucinski, 1 Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1068, St. Louis 63130, washuvdayrules@hotmail.com

Women's Center/Bridgeway Counseling

Provides shelter, counseling, court advocacy, children services, and support groups.

  • Opportunities: students would interact with women who are victims of domestic violence
  • Qualifications/Requirements: interview, training, child abuse and criminal background check (takes approximate 3-4 months before can start to volunteer); call for more information
  • Contact: Volunteer Coordinator, P.O. Box 57, St. Charles, MO 63302, (636) 946-4780, fax (636) 946-6897, womenscentersc@yahoo.com

Women's Support and Community Services

The Center is the oldest and largest locally-founded organization in St. Louis dedicated to helping women who have been victimized by violence. It serves battered women, rape victims, and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The agency provides crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and education.

  • Opportunities: crisis line volunteer (can be done from home), child care once a week, various one-time opportunities (e.g., painting)
  • Qualifications/Requirements: application, interview, two reference checks, training for a long-term placements is approximately 40 hours (other opportunities require less); to work on the crisis line requires a time commitment of 2-3 shifts per month for one year; call for more information
  • Contact: Shannon M. Earnest, 2165 Hampton Ave., St. Louis 63139, 646-7500 x116, fax 646-8181, shannon@womenssupport.org

Youth Emergency Services (YES), Epworth

YES is an emergency shelter for adolescents from 11-17 years of age who are experiencing family crises, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, and disruption of previous out-of-home placement. YES offers many services to these youth, including education, community outreach, a 24-hour help-line, legal services, individual and group therapy, and family/aftercare therapy to secure a smooth transition back into the home. Structured recreation and educational opportunities are also provided to youth in the shelter.

  • Opportunities: peer mentoring, special projects & presentations, helpline, administrative assistance
  • Qualifications/Requirements: please call for more information
  • Contact: Andrea Ventor James Fox, 110 North Elm Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119, 918-3330, fax 963-9152, yes@stl.unitedway.org