Domestic Violence Legal Assistance

Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Project (DVLAP) is a project of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc., a not-for-profit legal services organization which has been providing free civil legal services to low-income residents since 1923. Our DVLAP provides a broad range of free civil legal services to survivors of domestic violence who cannot afford private legal counsel.


Our DVLAP services includes assistance with obtaining Orders of Protection, Child and Spousal Support, Custody and Visitation, and Divorce. We also assist survivors of domestic violence with their civil legal problems related to public assistance, food stamps, foreclosure, landlord/tenant, consumer, employment, and immigration issues.



What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse (using money and financial, tools to exert control). Domestic violence encompasses a spectrum of behaviors that abusers use to control victims. The following list includes warning signs that someone may be abusive. If you or a friend experience these behaviors from a partner, remember: it is not your fault and there are legal professionals and advocates waiting to help.



“Red flags” include someone who:

  • Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
  • Early in the relationship flatters you constantly, and seems “too good to be true.”
  • Wants you all to him- or herself; insists that you stop spending time with your friends or family.
  • Insists that you stop participating in hobbies or activities, quit school, or quit your job.
  • Does not honor your boundaries.
  • Is excessively jealous and accuses you of being unfaithful.
  • Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails, and texts you throughout the day.
  • Criticizes or puts you down; says you are crazy, stupid, and/or fat/unattractive, or that no one else would ever want or love you.
  • Takes no responsibility for his or her behavior and blames others.
  • Has a history of abusing others.
  • Blames the entire failure of previous relationships on his or her former partner; for example, “My ex was totally crazy.”
  • Takes your money or runs up your credit card debt.
  • Rages out of control with you but can maintain composure around others.


Domestic violence/abuse occurs in all types of intimate relationships and former relationships. Your abuser may be your current or former spouse, partner, girlfriend/boyfriend, dating relationship. Domestic violence occurs regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual or gender identity, race, ethnicity, education, employment status, physical ability, marital status or childhood history.



Who do we represent?

We represent survivors of domestic violence. We are here to help.


Although we have income guidelines for many of our programs at LASNNY, we assist any domestic violence survivor, regardless of their income and assets, who cannot afford a lawyer as our staff resources permit. Preferences may be given to those who have income below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.


You may not have to be a US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to receive services from the DVLAP. If you are undocumented and have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, or are a survivor of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualify for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)); or you are undocumented and your child, without the active participation of you, has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty, or is a survivor of sexual assault or trafficking in the United States, or qualifies for immigration relief under section 101(a)(15)(U) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U)), we can provide you with assistance.



Domestic Violence Legal Assistance Project

If you live in: Columbia, Greene, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren, or Washington Counties, or on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation – please call our Legal Line at 833-628-0087 or CLICK HERE for online intake.



Domestic violence community service providers

There is a 24-hour domestic violence hotline in every county. The telephone numbers are listed here. The local domestic violence service provider can help with emergency shelter, non- residential services such as advocacy, counseling, and support groups, referrals, and other supportive services.


Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties
STOP Domestic Violence: 518.563.6904 or 888.563.6904
Sexual Assault 24-hour hotline – Clinton County: 877.212.2323 (toll-free)


Columbia and Greene Counties
Columbia/Greene Domestic Violence Program: 518.943.9211
The Reach Center Sexual Assault Hotline: 518.828.5556


Fulton County
Family Counseling Center of Fulton County: 518.725.5300


Hamilton County
Hamilton County Domestic Violence Services: 518.648.6131 or 800.721.8534


Montgomery County
Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities of Fulton & Montgomery Counties: 518.842.3384


Saratoga County
Wellspring, Inc.: 518.584.8188
Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Mechanicville Area Community Services Center: 518.664.4008


St. Lawrence County
Renewal House: 315.379.9845


St. Regis Mohawk Reservation
Three Sisters Program: 1.855.3sister or 1.855.374.7837


Schoharie County
Catholic Charities of Schoharie County: 518.234.2231


Warren and Washington Counties
Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Project: 518.793.9496


From anywhere in New York State
24-hour domestic violence hotline: English 800.942.6906, TTY 800.818.0656 / Spanish 800.942.6908, TTY 800.780.7660
New York State Office for the Aging: 800.342.9871


County Offices for the Aging
Albany County Department for Aging: 518.447.7177
Clinton County Office for the Aging: 518.565.4620 or 800.342.9871
Fulton County Office for Aging: 518.736.5650
Rensselaer County Department of Aging: 518.270.2730
St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging: 315.386.4730
St. Regis Mohawk Reservation Office for the Aging: 518.358.2963
Washington County Office for the Aging & Disability Resource Center: 518.746.2420


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