Legal Aid

Find out more about legal services that may be right for you

The Process of AVDA’s Legal Advocacy Programs

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Client Intake

Advocates meet with clients to document instances of abuse, explain victims’ rights, and provide safety planning and referrals.

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Trauma Counseling

Clients and/or their children may receive free counseling at any point during the process.

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Paralegal Assists Client

Paralegals provide support, gather evidence, and continue safety planning throughout the legal process.

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Attorney Prepares Case & Client

Attorneys meet with clients to prepare cases for court; provide legal advice; encourage safety planning and counseling; and offer other assistance, including emergency financial assistance and the AVDA Education Fund.

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Attorney & Client Go To Court

Attorneys accompany clients to court and represent them for protective orders, divorce, custody, and adoption cases. They explain the outcome and follow up with any next steps.

AVDA is here to help.

We understand the challenges that survivors of abuse face. Our nine staff attorney/paralegal teams provide legal representation in family law matters to victims of domestic violence in Austin, Grimes, Harris, Fort Bend, Waller and Washington counties. Our no or low cost services include:

  • RLegal representation for protective orders, divorce, child support, child custody and adoption
  • RDevelopment of an individual Safety and Self-Sufficiency Plan that identifies different options and resources to address emotional, physical, financial and legal risks/concerns
  • RReferrals for emergency food, shelter, medical care, counseling and other social-service needs
  • RClient financial assistance for emergency shelter, food, transportation and more
  • RFunds for education and training for clients
  • RAdvocacy with police, prosecutors and the courts
  • RInformation about her/his rights under the Texas Family Code and insight into how the family courts work
  • RInformation about her/his rights and options regarding criminal law and guidance as to how the criminal justice system operates
  • RAssistance in completing Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund application
  • RIndividual and group counseling for the survivor and her/his children (Harris County only)

Our client advocates are sitting by to take your call from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday or you may request a call-back through our online request for services. If you leave a message, please let us know the safest time to call back.
For Austin, Grimes, Waller and Washington counties, call (979) 826-3290, ext. 219.
For Fort Bend County, call (281) 207-2312.
For Harris County, call (713) 224-9911.

How to Stay Safe

Protect yourself & plan ahead for your safety

Always have a plan to keep yourself safe. Overcoming domestic violence is about control. Victims are often kept financially dependent on the abuser and isolated from family and friends. Leaving a domestic violence situation safely takes planning and preparation. It is important to involve your children and rehearse safety procedures with them. Alert school officials and trusted family and friends. Think about what documents, financial resources, and personal items you will need. Where will you stay?

AVDA strongly urges you to explore Protective Orders and other legal ways of insuring your physical safety, financial well-being, and the protection of your children. Call AVDA for assistance with safety planning, as well as information about filing charges and the criminal justice system; about divorce and child custody/child support; and referrals for shelter, counseling, and other services.