Domestic Violence

What is CVLAP's Domestic Violence Initiative? Our CVLAP - Domestic Violence Initiative provides free civil legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence in Michigan. You do not have to report a crime or contact law enforcement to receive our help. Our goal is to ensure safety and dignity and support survivors as they achieve their goals.

What is domestic violence? We define "domestic violence" as

a person's use of physical, sexual, mental, and/or financial abuse

to establish power and control in a romantic or intimate relationship.

Domestic violence might include actions such as:

  • Hurting you by hitting, choking, kicking, biting, pulling, or restraining you.
  • Intimidating or threatening to hurt you or someone you love, including a child or pet.
  • Controlling who you see, what you say, what you wear, or what you do.
  • Calling or texting repeatedly, following you, or otherwise harassing you.
  • Pressuring or forcing you to have sex or interfering with your use of contraception.
  • Insulting, name-calling, or shaming you.
  • Controlling your access to money.

How can CVLAP help? We serve clients in various legal issues related to domestic violence, including these types:

  • Child custody and visitation/ parenting time.
  • Child and spousal support.
  • Divorce.
  • Immigration.
  • Personal protection orders (PPOs). (In a PPO, the court can prohibit your abusive partner from certain actions, such as contacting you, visiting your home or workplace, or assaulting or harassing you.)
  • Crime victims’ compensation funding to reimburse expenses related to crimes.
  • Housing, such helping end your lease or defending you from eviction.
  • Public benefits, such as food stamps, housing assistance, and social security.

We can help with cases in Michigan.

Who can CVLAP help? We can serve someone who has experienced domestic violence, regardless of:

  • The language(s) you speak
  • Your immigration status (we help people with and without papers)
  • Your sex, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Your criminal history
  • Your income
  • Your age
  • Your race, color, national origin, or ethnicity
  • Your religion
  • Whether you have a disability
  • Your marital status
  • Whether you have reported the abuse to police or others.


Please contact us if you have questions about our services.

How do I apply for free legal assistance?

If you are a survivor would would like legal help, please contact us to find a CVLAP attorney.