Sandra broke up with her abusive boyfriend. She thought that was the end of her worries.
She was wrong.
It was the night before John was to move out and Sandra was home with their newborn daughter enjoying a bottle of wine with some friends. The evening’s festivities were cut short when John returned from work and began verbally arguing with Sandra. During the heated argument John stated, “If you want me to leave, you will have to call the police.” Sandra did just that.
This is where things took a turn for the worse.
You see, this wasn’t the first time the same police officers had been called to their home.
Just a few months prior, John kicked down the bedroom door and punched a glass shelf. This frightened Sandra but she didn’t call the police. A couple of days later, and still shaken by John’s outburst, Sandra was enjoying her first alcoholic drink since giving birth when she and John began to argue. This time, Sandra called the police.
On both occasions when the police arrived, Sandra had been consuming alcohol. It was because of this fact alone that the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) was notified and an investigator was assigned to their case.
The investigator assured Sandra that the allegations against her would be unfounded because there was no actual risk to her child. Sandra was still fully able to care for her daughter and was cooperative during all interactions with both the police and DCFS. Even John assured investigators that Sandra was a good mother!
Despite the lack of evidence and having taken proactive steps to protect herself and her daughter, including leaving the relationship with John, Sandra was indicated for child neglect.
Your support provides the help needed for Sandra to clear her name.
Currently, parents – including survivors of gender-based violence – are left to advocate for themselves when working though complicated DCFS cases. They aren’t given the option of being represented by a court-appointed attorney.
Your donation to Ascend Justice keeps families, like Sandra’s, together.
Family separation, parents losing custody of their children, even job loss are all real possibilities without the proper legal team. Ascend Justice attorneys are among the few in Illinois who have the expertise and experience to understand this complicated and specialized area of law.
Eighty-six percent of the clients represented by Ascend Justice in DCFS cases experienced a positive outcome.
We couldn’t do this important work without you.
By donating today, you give our specialized team the ability to help Sandra and her daughter remain safely together and for Sandra to clear her name.
Your contribution grants hundreds around the state access to this high-quality support, no matter their financial situation.
You make change happen!
Your support strengthens our voice as we continue to call attention to the private tragedies of children and families who are traumatized by baseless investigations and family separation.
Your donation today makes a difference in the lives of those like Sandra who are impacted by injustice and wrongful accusations.
Will you be that difference?
Donate today and you will be!