From Victims to Litigants

Publication Year:
2016
Usage 90
Downloads 62
Abstract Views 28
Repository URL:
http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/facpub/987
Author(s):
MacDowell, Elizabeth L.
Tags:
self-help; pro se; domestic violence; Criminal Law; Family Law; Law and Gender
article description
This Article reports findings from an ethnographic study of self-help programs in two western states. The study investigated how self-help assistance provided by partnerships between courts and nongovernmental organizations implicates advocacy and access to justice for domestic violence survivors. The primary finding is that self-help programs may inadvertently work to curtail, rather than expand, advocacy resources. Furthermore, problems identified with self-help service delivery and negative impacts on advocacy systems may be explained by the structure of work within self-help programs and the nature of partnerships to provide self-help services. The Author uncovers previously unseen impacts of self-help programs on survivors and on the resources to help them. She concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research directions and describes what can be done now to improve self-help services for survivors.