Success stories

Following are just a few recent examples of how recipients of WisTAF grants helped people all over Wisconsin:

“Samantha” was physically, emotionally, and financially abused by her husband, with whom she shared three children. At Golden House shelter in Green Bay, Samantha found temporary safety and learned about legal tools for protecting her children. A Golden House advocate helped her pursue a restraining order. The shelter’s partner, Legal Action of Wisconsin, provided an attorney to Samantha during her divorce and child custody proceedings, which proved long and complicated. Finally, she got legal answers about turning around the impact of her financial abuse. Samantha thanks Legal Action and Golden House, and doesn’t think she could have found her freedom without them.

Losing a loved one to COVID is hard enough. But when “James,” who didn’t have health insurance, passed away, his family also inherited crushing medical debt racked up during his final months of hospital care. There are laws on the books to prevent this kind of destructive catastrophe, but rules and processes can be complex. ABC for Health navigated multiple bureaucracies to ensure James’ final care was duly paid for. Now his family can focus on moving forward after their loss, free of an accompanying financial debilitation.

“Parma” had been stalked by her ex-husband for over 20 years. An attorney at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) in Superior helped her get an injunction to stop the constant harassment and stalking, and assisted with subsequent legal process. To date, Parma has had no further instances of stalking and is living a happy and safe life.

“Crystal” was raised by her mother. She had not seen her biological father since she was a baby, over a decade ago. Her father had made no attempt to see her, provided no help to her mother -- and had physically abused her mother during their brief relationship. But when Crystal’s father learned he would have to start paying child support, he became upset and filed a motion to require Crystal to spend fifty percent of her time with him. With legal representation from Community Justice, Inc., Crystal’s mother prevailed in court. Crystal was able to stay with the mother who raised her rather than a stranger-father who had previously shown no interest.

“Jamilah” did not want to languish in her unhappy marriage with “Ahmed,” but she found the legal system intimidating, especially because she fluently spoke only Somali. Utilizing telephonic translation services, an attorney from Centro Legal assisted Jamilah. He helped her obtain favorable custody and placement orders for her three children while her divorce was pending, and negotiated with Ahmed and his attorney to create a positive division of the marital estate, ensuring Jamilah received monthly child support and a lump sum payment so her post-divorce future had a firm financial foundation.

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