The Rodney Inn of Court hosted the Combined Campaign for Justice as the featured CLE presentation at their November meeting. The executive directors of each of the CCJ beneficiary agencies, Community Legal Aid Society (CLASI), Delaware Volunteer Legal Services (DVLS), and Legal Services Corporation of Delaware (LSCD) presented about the history of legal aid in Delaware, the types of cases each agency handles, funding challenges, and a recently completed social return on investment analysis. Each director gave examples of their agency’s work, the collaborative partnership that exists between the agencies, and their impact-individually and in the broader Delaware community.
During this evening, a client of DVLS took the podium to share her experience, provide human context, and urge for continued support of the Combined Campaign. Pam spoke eloquently and succinctly, and earned herself a heartfelt and appreciative standing ovation by the time she finished.
Pam’s story is one that is an all too common reality for people across the globe. Suddenly, she found her life tipped on its axis, she and her sons the victims of domestic abuse. In this, the most painful moment in their life, Pam realized she had no means to provide legal services to protect her and her children from their abuser.
It was in this dark time that Pam found Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, and Janine Howard-O’Rangers. Janine, the executive director of DVLS, along with her colleagues offered assistance, legal support, and safety to Pam.
“My legal aid attorneys gave me hope that things would be okay and I would get through this” –Pam
This horrific and life changing experience put Pam on a new path. She has since dedicated her life’s work to giving back to victims of domestic violence. She is working on a Psychology degree at Wilmington University, now a certified Child Advocate and a Trauma informed trainer, Pam is currently training DHSS and the State of Delaware on Trauma Awareness. She spreads her story, and her light, far and wide. Pam’s children have also overcome this painful experience and are strong students, with bright futures as change makers in our world.
All of this is a testament to Pam’s strength in a time of horror, and the way that Civil Legal Aid can impact, support and shape the lives of all Delawareans.
Pam’s words resonate with all of us, “Having qualified and dedicated legal representation at no cost saved my life. Sadly my story is not unique. Your support will help more people just like me. And will give them hope and a future.”
Pam is bravely willing to share her painful story to help better the world around her. Only 20% of income qualified people in Delaware receive civil legal aid due to lack of available funding. Donations to CCJ help more people like Pam get the legal help that they need during critical times in their lives.