Today, our Legal Advocate, Annie Zhang, is off to begin on a new path as a lawyer. Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) wants to acknowledge with deep appreciation Annie’s commitment, strong work, and contributions to BWSS’ ending violence work for the last two years.

Legal advocacy work at BWSS has a critical and essential role in empowering and supporting women through providing legal support and advocacy for social, systemic, and institutional change. In our work at BWSS, we witness each day the challenges in accessing justice for women who are dealing with violence in their intimate relationships. Often women face a multitude of barriers in accessing and navigating legal systems. Women are systemically forced to represent themselves in court, which often compromises their safety, their cases, and their rights, due to severe cuts to legal aid and to available and affordable legal resources and representation.

“I believe that BWSS’ work plays an integral role in tearing down some of the barriers women face in the social and legal system”

Annie Zhang, Legal Advocate

As a Legal Advocate, Annie provided information regarding the various legal systems (family, criminal, immigration), support in navigating these systems, and provided strong advocacy for women dealing with legal issues. In addition, Annie shared her experiences, knowledge, and views as a legal advocate of BWSS with all:

How front-line workers play a key role in assuring successful interventions, addressing the needs of battered Immigrant women and bringing the abusers to justice in Women on the Front-Line: Ending Violence Workers at Battered Women’s Support Services

How the legal system is accessible for women and the role of legal system in the life of a woman when she is leaving an abusive relationship in National Crime Victims Awareness Week – Violence, Women & Access to Justice

How the chronic underfunding of legal aid and the resulting onerous restrictions on eligibility, effectively bar many women’s access to justice in Access to Justice, Denied- Redux

In recognition of the importance of legal advocacy in ending violence against women, BWSS wants to acknowledge Annie’s hard work and her lasting contribution in the preparation of a legal resource on Family Law to support and guide women through the various legal systems.

BWSS wishes Annie all the very best on her new path!