DVCAC has engaged in advocacy on behalf of victims of relationship violence and their children for over twenty-five years. The agency is committed to advocacy as a principal strategy to improve the justice system and ensure that victims of abuse achieve safety, autonomy, health, well-being, independence, and justice.
The Justice System Advocacy program currently works in 10 courts, covering 42 municipalities in Cuyahoga County. Advocates speak with each victim about their unique situation, explaining applicable court processes. Options are explored and considered, with an emphasis on safety and self determination. Justice System advocates also provide safety planning assistance. Court escorts and follow up phone calls are provided as needed and help to ensure that victims are able to feel supported and informed during the court process.
Advocates also facilitate support groups which provide victims with the opportunity to receive peer support, feedback and encouragement. Support groups are ongoing and are held weekly throughout the year.
Advocates are also involved in personal advocacy for victims. This support can include assisting victims in securing rights, locating emergency financial assistance; intervening with employers, creditors and others on behalf of the victim; assisting in filing for losses covered by public and private insurance programs, including workman’s compensation, unemployment benefits, and welfare; accompanying the victim to the hospital; etc…
If you would like more information about the Justice System Advocacy Program, please call Shelly Dudas at 216-229-2420 or fill out a contact form here.