Maria Fratus
Defending Domestic Violence Survivors

Maria Fratus sought help from Legal Aid DC after being assaulted by her boyfriend, who was criminally charged. With the help of Legal Aid DC attorney Kolleen Gladden, Ms. Fratus filed for a civil protection order (CPO) to prevent her abuser from contacting her further. Ms. Fratus’s abuser retaliated by also filing a CPO against Ms. Fratus. Kolleen helped Ms. Fratus navigate the complex legal situation and was able to get a continuation until after the criminal proceedings had concluded. Despite his conviction related to the assault, Ms. Fratus’s abuser continued to push for a CPO against her with the help of a lawyer. Kolleen worked with Ms. Fratus to get her the protections she needed, and after extensive negotiations, the abuser dropped his case. Ms. Fratus is now able to live safely away from her abuser and said that the CPO “gives me reassurance. I’m able to close this door and continue with my life.”    

Read Ms. Fratus’s full story in our 2023 annual report.