By Neil M. E. Forester, CFLS

I’ve walked a mile in high heels 3 times now. I get some blisters, and nearly twist my ankle each time, but these minor annoyances are insignificant compared to the high I get from this high heeled adventure. Why would I do this, you ask? I’m taking a stand against domestic violence in our community.

WEAVE’s 5th Annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser takes place on May 3rd in downtown Sacramento. Our team here at Forester Purcell will be clicking along with a gang of 50 men, including many of my fellow family law attorneys. We aim to help WEAVE break a world record of 1,000 men walking, bringing amazing awareness to their 24/7 critical services for victims of domestic violence.

I’ve been involved with WEAVE (our region’s premier provider of of services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault) since 2006 — first as a facilities committee member and now as VP of the Board of Directors. Through pro bono representation, I’ve helped many people in our community who are dealing with unspeakable pain and suffering and need to obtain domestic violence restraining orders. And though that work is difficult, I believe it has had a real impact in the community. I’m most proud of our work on WEAVE Legal, our redesigned legal services program which ensures victims of domestic violence have access to free and low bono legal assistance and are not further victimized by perpetrators who exploit the legal system as part of their harassment and abuse of the victim.

WEAVE Legal launched in early 2013. WEAVE Legal leverages volunteer attorneys and law students under the supervision of a staff attorney to better meet the complex legal needs of domestic violence victims. Since the launch of the program, more than 1,000 victims have been able to access appropriate legal assistance and support which has enabled victims to increase their safety while working towards self-sufficiency and a life free of violence. WEAVE Legal provides free and low-cost legal services for eligible domestic violence victims. WEAVE offers a series of legal workshops addressing the most common legal questions and needs including Court Preparation for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order hearing, Divorce Preparation, and the Child Custody process.

So, I’ve got my bandaids ready, and my size 13 shiny red heels broken in for another mile around the track. Won’t you join us?

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