Evanston/North Shore

Legal Advocacy

In 2015, 411 clients seeking Orders of Protection received legal assistance and referrals from our Legal Advocates.

Complementing YWCA Evanston/North Shore Domestic Violence Services is a legal advocacy component positioned at the Cook County Second Municipal District Courthouse in Skokie, Illinois.

Orders of Protection

Our Legal Advocates support individuals in understanding their rights under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, exploring the legal remedies available, and assisting those who choose to pursue a civil order of protection. 

While a judge at the Second Municipal District from 1997 through 2008, I had the privilege to work with some of your volunteers and then later paid staff, who appeared before me in domestic violence court representing the victims/survivors.

Under the supervision of Judge Nudelman, then Presiding Judge of the Skokie Courthouse, we were able, in 1997, to establish an exclusive "part-time" call for domestic violence cases. This call grew to become what it is today, a full fledged domestic violence courtroom.

The professionalism and dedication of YWCA staff was exemplary. I saw, first hand, how much the victims/survivors relied on these individuals to have their day in court and to have the courage to seek protection from the court, which in so many cases they so desperately needed. Their empathy and compassion were palpable. I have followed the work of this organization for many years and have found it to be in alignment with my values and hopes for our society.

Consuelo Bedoya Witt

Orders of Protection may be obtained through either criminal court with the proceedings of a full criminal case, or civil court without having the abuser present. Legal Advocates help clients understand the difference between criminal and civil remedies, and help support them through the often complex and intimidating process. 

To access these services, contact our court advocates at 847-470-5052.

Pro Bono Attorney Project

Most victims of domestic violence are not able to afford knowledgeable, high quality legal representation for crisis-driven, expedited and contentious order of protection (OP) proceedings. Access to free legal services for victims of DV in the local area is extremely limited, and that results in many victims going forward, to their detriment, without the aid of an attorney.

To volunteer your services, contact our legal advocates at 847-470-5052 for additional information.

Comprehensive Legal Assistance for Survivors Project (CLASP)

YWCA Evanston/North Shore's Legal Advocacy Program is partnering with the Legal Assistance Foundation in a 3-year project, Comprehensive Legal Assistance for Survivors Project (CLASP), developed to address victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who are experiencing multiple civil legal issues as a result of their abuse.

Public Education and Training

Domestic Violence Program staff are available to collaborate, present, consult or provide training on legal issues related to domestic violence. Requests from law enforcement, social services, faith-based organizations, schools, and civic or private organizations are welcome, and will be accommodated whenever possible.

Presentations are tailored for each audience, whether to simply raise public awareness, inform participants how they can best support victims of domestic violence in their efforts to be free from abuse, or to educate law enforcement on best practices and better understanding of domestic violence laws. To learn more, contact our Domestic Violence Training and Prevention Director at 847-864-8445.

Asistencia Legal Nuestro programa de Asistencia Legal esta localizado en la corte de Skokie. Dos asistentes legales ayudan a las víctimas obtener órdenes de protección como parte de un plan de seguridad más amplio. Además, proveen información legal, apoyo emocional, y acceso a otros servicios mientras ayudan a víctimas navegar entre el sistema legal. Para tener acceso a estos servicios, llame al 847-470-5052.

Read a poem written by a former YWCA court advocate about her experience helping clients seeking legal protection.


Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.