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Lawsuit claims California denying aid to domestic abuse victims

No one should have to stay in an abusive relationship. It’s a motto many of our readers take to heart and would do anything to enforce. This concern for a person’s welfare is also why a number of groups as well as government assistance programs exist. Their goals are the same: to help victims of domestic violence leave their abusers and start over again.

As you can imagine though, starting over again is no easy task for low-income families, which is why financial assistance is often offered to those who are eligible. Even though California offers such financial assistance for domestic abuse victims, a class action lawsuit that was filed in Alameda County Court this month claims that the state has made access to these funds more difficult for those who have a disability.

According to the lawsuit, changes to the law “eliminated flexibility” within the CalWORKS welfare program, which “provides temporary cash assistance to very low-income families with minor children.” The changes to the law now make it more difficult for victims who have a disability to seek financial assistance that could be necessary in order to leave the abusive situation they are in.

The lawsuit is currently seeking injunctive and declaratory relief aimed at stopping the state government from “unlawfully misinterpreting the laws in place that would allow petitioners and others like them to receive the assistance necessary to survive outside of abusive situations.” The petitioners are also seeking a writ of mandate, which is a request that asks the government agency to correct its actions to comply with the law.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Women Fight California Over Domestic Abuse,” Katherine Proctor, Jan. 13, 2015

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