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New "Survivor Scholarship" for Domestic Violence Victims

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SOURCE Laubacher & Co.

CLEVELAND, July 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The damage from domestic violence remains long after the divorce decree is issued and the custody battles are over. Victims have to work hard to recover and repair their lives. That's why Cleveland area law firm, Laubacher & Co. has sponsored the Domestic Violence Law Firm Scholarship. The $1,000 award is meant to both recognize and encourage domestic violence survivors who are meeting the challenge and moving forward in their lives. Anyone who has been a victim or witnessed domestic abuse is encouraged to apply even if they were not abused themselves.

The scholarship isn't gender based, although the majority of incidents that reach court involve men abusing women. Children also suffer when their families are broken, and "witness trauma" is common.

Ms. Santosuosso, an attorney with the firm, served four years as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Division of Children and Family Services. "There are everyday heroes among us," she said, "They've managed to overcome obstacles in their lives most of us can't imagine. It's a privilege for us to help support their efforts."

The scholarship, available for those attending college in the fall of 2014 at any level (freshman through graduate student), will be awarded August 10th. The application deadline is July 31st. Applications can be downloaded at the firm's website: www.laubacherlaw.com

To qualify, applicants are asked to submit records showing a 3.0 GPA or better, and they will submit a short essay about their experience with domestic violence as part of the application. The $1,000 award will be sent directly to the winner's college to help cover tuition or associated costs.

"Because our firm handles divorces, marital property division, custody matters, and domestic violence issues, we see a lot of tragedy," said Ms. Santosuosso. "We are hoping to read about recovery from survivors. We very much want to hear their stories."

She also hopes the attention brought to domestic violence will trigger a response from those who currently need help. "We are just a phone call away, and we don't charge to talk to someone about their situation and the available legal options." The firm's number is: 855-701-1004.

There are victim shelters available for women and their children, and protection orders can be put in place. These resources can provide the space needed to repair a family situation that may become dangerous. With an estimated one to three million women per year physically abused by a current or former partner, the problem of domestic violence is all too frequent.

"I know how victims of abuse feel trapped," said Ms. Santosuosso, "But there is life outside of a toxic relationship. And it can be a good life, worth pursuing."

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) answers calls and gives referrals from 9 to 5 at 1-800-934-9840. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-7233. For emergency help, call 911.

If you know someone in college or who will be attending this fall, who has been a victim of domestic violence (either directly or as a child), please let them know about this scholarship.

Media Contact:

Cara L. Santosuosso, 440-356-5700

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