Last night, Legal Aid Staff Attorney June Lee was honored by the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project with its Allies in Justice Award. June was recognized for her work and partnership with DVRP in offering client-centered legal support and representation to survivors of domestic violence, particularly those of Asian descent. Her co-recipient was Amritha Narasimhan, a long-time DVRP and community volunteer.
In accepting the award—and with many of her colleagues and other community members present in support—June described why organizations like DVRP and Legal Aid “are often a first beam of light in a very dark tunnel” for immigrant survivors who are uniquely vulnerable. “Many Asian survivors that I meet are recent immigrants who have no support system in this country or may live in isolated immigrant communities,” she said. “They may not be informed of their legal rights and options. And some have even internalized misinformation from their abuser.”
Indeed, just several weeks ago, June described the strength of survivors to speak out in a blog post she authored highlighting October’s designation as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” In it, she drew attention to the numerous obstacles that survivors confront in telling their stories and seeking protection from abuse, especially when they “courageously decide to testify against their abusers in court.”
June joined Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit this past summer after having spent five years representing survivors of domestic violence and labor trafficking in family law and immigration matters, first at Queens Legal Services and then at Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center. From 2015 to 2017, June served as co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee at the Asian American Bar Association of New York, where she helped establish a free legal advice clinic in Manhattan’s Chinatown. June has also worked as a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Founded in 1996, DVRP provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Its mission is to address, prevent, and end domestic violence and sexual assault in Asian/Pacific communities while empowering survivors to rebuild their lives after abuse. Legal Aid is proud to serve as a partner to and work in collaboration with DVRP.