Hard times create stress and emotional strain between couples and in families. According to the Department of Justice, domestic violence is more than three times as likely to occur when couples experience a high level of financial strain. There can even be instances of economic abuse within a family, usually against an elderly or disabled person. Other families face the challenge of a loved one’s struggle with addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling – all of which can affect family finances. Fortunately, there are many services available to help people deal with this type of adversity.
Violence between intimate partners can affect all people, no matter their age, race, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. If you are experiencing violence in your home, we encourage you to seek help.
For the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, call (800) 799-7233.
The following organizations provide free legal help with domestic violence and related family law issues:
- Domestic Violence & Family Law Clinic – Long Beach: George Deukmejian Courthouse, 275 Magnolia Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1004, Long Beach, CA 90802. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting at 9:00 am. No appointment necessary.
- Legal Aid Society of Orange County/Community Legal Services - Domestic Violence Prevention Program: Family law clinics are available at the Compton and Norwalk Superior Courts. Compton Superior Court, 200 West Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220. Norwalk Superior Court, 12720 Norwalk Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90650. Both clinics are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-Noon. No appointment necessary. An additional family law clinic is available at the Orange County Superior Court, 2101 North Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92503. Thursdays (1:00-3:00 pm), and Fridays (10:00 am-Noon). To schedule an appointment, call (800) 834-5001.
- Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice - Family Law Clinic: The Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act project provides free legal representation and enhanced court services to low-income families in high-conflict custody disputes, a large percentage of which involve domestic violence. To make an appointment, call (323) 980-3500.
- Toll Family Law Counseling Center – Downtown Los Angeles: Priority given to clients with domestic violence, restraining order, and child abduction and concealment issues. Stanley Mosk Courthouse 111 North Hill Street, Room 245, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting at 8:30 am. No appointment necessary.
Elder abuse is any abuse of a person age 60 or older by a caregiver or by another person who has a relationship involving an expectation of trust with that senior. It can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, financial abuse or exploitation. To learn more about elder abuse, go to Help for Seniors.
Family counseling services can also be useful during times of financial strain.
- Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles has Counseling Centers that support adults, children and families dealing with a wide range of issues. Services include one-on-one counseling and psychotherapy, parent education, peer counseling, support groups and divorce mediation. Services are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew and Farsi. For services, call (877) 275-4537.
- National Council for Jewish Women in Los Angeles has a Community Counseling and Support Services program dedicated to providing high-quality, integrated mental health and supportive services to a diverse community of women, children and families at risk and in need. For services, call (877) 655-3807.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees. For information about AA in Los Angeles, call (800) 923-8722. For meetings elsewhere in California, go to how to find an AA meeting near you.
Al-Anon Family Groups offer strength and hope to families of problem drinkers. Al-Anon has meetings available for spouses, partners, adult children, parents, grandparents, siblings and others who have a relative struggling with addiction. For information about Al-Anon in Los Angeles, call (818) 760-7122. For meetings elsewhere and other information, go to How to Find an Al-Anon Meeting Near You.