Tamika Hayes
“from the beginning, my legal aid team never made me feel that I had to fight this battle alone.”

Tamika Hayes is a lifelong resident of the DC area. She earned BA and MBA degrees from the University of Maryland, works for the DC Government, owns her home in Southeast Washington, and has raised three smart, kind, and talented teenagers.

But she has also faced many challenges along the way. Ms. Hayes and her children endured years of chaos, violence, and cruel behavior at the hands of her now-ex-husband and the children’s father. With Legal Aid DC’s help, Ms. Hayes obtained a civil protection order and filed for divorce and custody.

Our Domestic Violence & Family Law Unit attorneys help survivors get to safety and secure their independence from their abusers, something that is exceptionally difficult without legal assistance.

During her divorce trial, Ms. Hayes testified over the course of four days, telling her harrowing story of decades of abuse. She explained how, despite countless separations over the years due to incidents of violence, she struggled to break the cycle of violence because – with the children’s expenses, her mortgage, and student loans piling up – financial security felt impossible to achieve on her own.

Ms. Hayes was victorious on all counts. And in recognition of her bravery and perseverance, Legal Aid DC presented Ms. Hayes with the Partnership Award at the 2019 Servant of Justice Awards Dinner.