Alexandra*, an immigrant in her early twenties, came to Ayuda seeking freedom for herself and her child. The child’s father, Stanley*, had struck Alexandra, threatened her family, and expressed intention to leave the country with their child.  

Alexandra endured this abuse for years, feeling trapped in part because Stanley would so often use her immigration status as a mechanism to control her. But despite her fears, Alexandra reached out for a helping hand from Ayuda’s Domestic Violence and Family Law (DVFL) team. Working hand-in-hand with a DVFL attorney, Alexandra filed for a Civil Protection Order.  

Her abuser managed to delay the process with menial concerns and threw up roadblocks along the way. In one particularly scary moment, Alexandra realized that Stanley had their child’s passport in his possession – a critical document for her son’s upcoming immigration appointment. Ayuda attorneys took action, filing an emergency motion and an emergency hearing was scheduled the next day at which Alexandra was able to secure the passport.  

Despite the delays, Alexandra remained determined and resourceful. She obtained video evidence to prove her assault, shared screenshots detailing Stanley’s threats, and bravely took the stand to testify. Thanks to Alexandra’s resilience, a Civil Protection Order was granted to keep her and her child safe from Stanley, who has been ordered to take an anger management counseling program. Alexandra also left court with temporary custody of their child along with his legal documents. 

*Names and photo changed to protect our clients’ privacy.