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A woman I met recently told me that her husband, who she is currently separated from, has been sexually abusing her for three years. She has gone for help; notified the all the "right" authorities: her lawyer, the state of new jersey division of youth and family services (dyfs); has acquired a testimonial from her child's doctor; and has herself seen her "husband" in compromising situations with her daughter. She has done all of these things but neither her lawyer, or the state agency is acting on her daughter's behalf. Her husband still has legal right to see his daughters (there are two). Can you offer any suggestions as to what she legally can do to get some type of restraining order? Or where she might be able to turn to for legal advice? Every weekend he comes by to pick up his children... I should also add that she herself has/is physically abused by him.

I suggest that you have your friend contact one of the following two places for legal help. Both organizations are well-versed in cases of this nature and therefore, likely to be able to put her in touch directly with an attorney and/or the information that she needs.

National Center for Protective Parents
Contact: Joan Pennington (609) 394-1506.

The Coalition for Family Justice
Contact: Monica Getz (914) 591-5753

You might also want to check out our section of Violence Against Women links, which lists other resources on both child abuse and domestic violence. Good luck --and thanks for seeking advice on her behalf


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