Student Organizations Inspire Law School Community to Take Action Against Domestic Violence

Nationally, October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and members of two law student organizations,the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center (DVAC) and Women in Law, teamed up to educate the law school community about the abominable consequences of domestic violence in our country and raise funds for a local battered women’s shelter.

Each day during the week of October 18, members from these organizations e-mailed students, faculty and staff  with startling statistics about the number of people affected by this abuse and asked everyone to donate one dollar per day to the local battered women’s shelter. A competition was set up among classes to see which class could raise the most money during the week.  Volunteer students sat at tables during the lunch hour with donation jars for individual classes and gave purple ribbons to everyone who gave at least one dollar.  In one week’s time, our community raised close to $600.  A check was presented to the Family Services-sponsored women’s shelter last week. 

Congratulations to the entire law school community for supporting this effort.  A special thanks to the members of DVAC and Women in Law who devoted significant time to raising our awareness of this serious problem and making this fundraising project a grand success.

Students at the Law School are committed to helping victims of domestic violence in Winston-Salem year-round. DVAC provides free legal representation to victims of domestic violence in 50-B hearings (in conjunction with the local Legal Aid office) and in return, students acquire real courtroom experience.  DVAC also sends volunteers every Thursday and Friday to the battered women’s shelter to entertain children living at the shelter, giving mothers a chance to take care of personal business.  During the last week in October,  members of DVAC sponsored a Halloween Party for about  20 children who live at the shelter.  DVAC recently collected washcloths and towels for the shelter, and some DVAC members are currently creating packets that outline the legal rights of abuse victims.  These packets will be distributed to doctor’s offices and other appropriate locations throughout the Triad.

DVAC’s efforts were recently recognized by the North Carolina Bar when the organization was selected to receive the Bar’s 2004 Student Pro Bono Project Award.