We are launching our "Stop the Cycle" campaign against abuse, assault and exploitation

Legal representation for victims is key to fighting back

RALEIGH—Legal Aid of North Carolina has launched the StopTheCycleNC campaign to raise awareness of the key role legal representation plays in ending the cycle of abuse for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, as well as seniors who have experienced financial exploitation. StopTheCycleNC.org educates users about what constitutes abuse, assault and exploitation, and the legal resources and support available to help victims break free from their abusers. From StopTheCycleNC.org, victims can call Legal Aid NC for help or connect to Legal Aid NC’s online application to start the intake process. Digital and radio advertising will start later this month and run through the holidays, when reports of abuse are known to increase. For more information, visit StopTheCycleNC.org.

Abuse, assault and exploitation can take many different forms, victimizing someone of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level or economic status. Victims are often repeatedly abused by an intimate partner, exploited by someone they trust or trapped in inhumane or illegal conditions at jobs they need for income. Escaping an abusive situation can become complicated between family members, for example, when the abuser is an intimate partner and children are involved, or when someone who holds power of attorney is using their position to defraud an elderly relative. Victims are even more reluctant to take action when they do not understand their rights, have little support and lack financial resources.

Rooted in more than 40 years of experience, Legal Aid NC has provided legal assistance to any victim of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, regardless of income or immigration status. Through its Senior Law Project, Legal Aid NC helps senior citizens who have been financially exploited. Legal Aid NC also helps clients with unemployment and government benefits, access to housing and family law services for child custody issues.

“When victims are finally ready to stop the cycle of victimization, Legal Aid NC is a partner in empowerment,” said TeAndra Miller, project manager of Legal Aid NC’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Project. “Our process may start with helping them obtain a protective order or legal document to protect their assets and children, but we go far beyond with services that can help them achieve stability and a path to independence.”

As an independent organization, Legal Aid NC is not affiliated with the government, district attorney offices or social services. They can help any North Carolina resident regardless of where they live, even if there is no Legal Aid NC office near them. Legal Aid NC’s ability to help victims is not impacted by the pandemic, or whether or not courts are open.

Legal Aid NC's Stop the Cycle campaign and the services it promotes are funded in part by the Governor’s Crime Commission, the chief advisory body on crime and justice issues to North Carolina's Governor and Secretary of Public Safety.

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Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Need legal help? Call 1-866-219-5262 (toll-free) or apply online.

Media contact: Sean Driscoll, Director of Public Relations, 919-856-2132, seand@legalaidnc.org