Enabling survivors of abuse to build a case without a lawyer

A project by CHAYN led by Hera Hussain

1 in 3 women experience domestic violence and while most cases go unreported, a study in EU found only 14 per cent of women reported their most serious incident of intimate partner violence to the police. From our experience of talking to survivors, we found that survivors to abuse often do not have access to legal aid or any guidance in helping them collect evidence which can prevent them from seeking justice. Recent statistics have shown that a third of domestic violence victims cannot provide evidence for legal aid in the UK. In our conversations with survivors from around the world, we learned that many women are not aware of their rights as well as being afraid of high legal fees so they continue to stay in highly dangerous situations for themselves and their children. We’ve built a guide on How to Build Your own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer - something that we were surprised to find did not exist already. For those who cannot afford legal help, helpful guides are non-existent and understanding complex legal jargon can be difficult, especially since many survivors are also battling mental health issues due to the abuse. We strongly believe that not having enough money or limited access to legal aid shouldn’t prevent someone from seeking legal recourse, and that the law should be supporting survivors in times of need, not alienating them. We’ve contacted NGOs and law firms who support this and think it’s a great resource for them to direct to women they cannot help. The How to Build Your own Domestic Violence Case Without A Lawyer guide is a detailed manual that provides guidance on collecting and presenting evidence for legal action (including criminal, divorce, child custody and asylum) in a way that is easy for everyone to understand. We break down difficult legal language and complicated concepts of evidence to open the doors of justice for everyone. Written in easy-to-follow language, the guide is aimed at anyone who needs help. Soon, we hope the guide can reach women all over the world. We have taken inputs from actual survivors of domestic violence. The tool has been called “an eye-opener” and “tool for survival” by women who have experience violence and struggled to seek justice. What we need money for ---------------------------------- In keeping with the spirits of leveling the playing field for all survivors, funds raised will go towards distributing the guide so it can help women and men around the world. In developing countries, where access to free legal representation can be an even bigger problem, this money will be used for the printing and distribution of the guide to places like refuges, hospitals, NGOs and police stations in countries such as India, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, France, Italy, Jordan, Iraq, US and UK and many more once we have made links to those countries and have the guide translated to the native language. Printing of 7,500 copies / £2000 Postage of the guides / £1000 Details of how the money will be spent: Printing & Postage - We estimate that each country will require up to 200 copies. These will be sent to NGOs and law offices to encourage them to print copies of the guide themselves from ordinary printers. This means the guide can be dispatched to 37 countries. If we begin by distributing to 3 countries where we have found NGOs who will use the guide, this will cost around £1,100 for printing only. If you can think of an organisation or country you can help us reach - drop us a line on

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19,000 people reached through View

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Missed Opportunities in Using Tech to Fight Violence Against Women As the number of women with access to the Internet and Internet-enabled devices increases, so does the potential for social impa... View

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HUGE NEWS! "Somalia's Ministry of Women's Affairs has announced that the country will introduce a new law banning FGM nationwide. According to UNICEF, approximately 98% of Somali women aged 15-49 a... View

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We're now at 1300 views of the guide online and who knows how much offline! We know two UK charities are using the guide to train helpline volunteers that get calls from survivors of domestic and s... View

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