Wise Options Legal Advocacy provides assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes with support as they navigate the criminal and justice systems. In addition to explaining legal options, referral and supporting victims, advocates provide ongoing training and outreach to individuals, agencies and institutions to create lasting social change in Lycoming County.
Legal advice is not given, but information is shared about the law, including what legal options are available and how to access legal recourse. Individuals seeking services and support from the Legal Advocacy Program choose what, if any, legal action they wish to take. Advocates do not recommend a particular direction, but will support whatever decision the victim makes. Advocates also provide information, empowerment crisis counseling, emotional support, safety planning, assistance in filing a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) and court accompaniment to PFA hearings. The Wise Options Legal Advocacy Program partners with the North Penn Legal Services in an effort to ensure appropriate legal representation for individuals in court.
Victim services include:
• Crime Victim Compensation
• Crisis intervention
• Emergency safety planning
• Court accompaniment
• Hospital accompaniment
• Prisoner release notifications
• Information about legal processes and the court systems
• Counseling and support groups
• Referrals to other social service agencies
All Wise Options services are free of charge.
24 Hour Crisis Hotlines: 570-323-8167 or 800-326-8483
Tina worked with Erin Scholl, head legal advocate, who held her hand throughout the process of getting a PFA against her abusive boyfriend and finding a pro bono lawyer to represent her. “Working with Erin was a therapeutic part of my journey to independence,” she said. “Because of this experience I will become stronger, better and will make it on my own."