Free legal support for LGBTQ survivors

AVP Legal Services

Our attorneys understand your needs as LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence.

Our Legal Services Department increases access to civil legal services, which increases safety for LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of all types of violence, including intimate partner violence, sexual violence and hate violence.  We provide free, holistic legal services to LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors in all five boroughs of New York City in Family Court, Housing Court, Civil Court, and with immigration matters. Our legal team provides free comprehensive legal intakes, advice and counsel as well as representation on issues such as orders of protection, child support, child custody, legal separation/divorce or dissolution, immigration matters, housing matters, name changes, and representation as complaining witnesses in criminal court.

How Do I Get An Appointment?

  • Call our 24-Hour Hotline at 212-714-1141:  During business hours, you will speak directly with a Counselor/Advocate who will conduct a brief intake and forward your information and legal concerns to the Legal Services Department who will then schedule an in-person comprehensive free legal intake.  Legal appointments are usually made within one week, and faster in emergency cases.
  • Walk-In Appointments: Walk-in appointments were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic and will resume in 2023. Appointments are available to schedule on the hotline.
  • Current AVP Clients: For those already working with a Counselor/Advocate, simply tell them you are interested in speaking with the Legal Service Department and your Counselor/Advocate will make a direct referral.
Header for free legal practice areas at AVP

Legal Practice Areas

Family Law Matters

Orders of Protection: For community members experiencing intimate partner violence, we provide representation in Family Court to obtain and Order of Protection.  We can assist in drafting a Family Offense Petition until the close of the case

Custody and Visitation: Our legal team provides representation in Family Court for LGBTQ & HIV-affected survivors of violence who have custody and/or visitation concerns.

Child and Spousal Support: Our legal team provides representation in Family Court for LGBTQ & HIV-affected survivors of violence who have child support or spousal support concerns.

Uncontested Divorce: Our legal team provides representation in Supreme Court for LGBTQ & HIV-affected survivors of violence who are seeking an uncontested divorce from their spouse.

Dissolution: Our Legal Team provides representation with dissolution of other types of relationships including Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships.

Housing Law Matters

Eviction Proceedings: Representation in Housing Court for non-payment and holdover proceedings.

Neighbor Harassment: Advocacy with landlords and representation in HP Actions in Housing Court.

Name Change and Identity Documents

Legal Name Change: Represent those who want to legally change their name in Civil Court.

Identity Document Correction: Assist community members in updating their identity documents (NYS ID, Social Security Cards, Passport, Birth Certificates, etc.) to reflect their true gender.

Criminal Law Matters

Criminal Defense At this time, AVP does not provide criminal defense services.  We do however, work with community members who believe they were wrongfully arrested and advocate on their behalf.

Crime Victim Advocacy:  LGBTQ and HIV-affected community members who are survivors of crime (hate crime, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, etc.) may receive representation as complaining witnesses in Criminal Court.  This free legal representation includes advocating with the NYPD, the District Attorney’s office, assisting in the preparation to testify and assistance in writing Crime Victim Impact Statements.

Immigration Law Matters

VAWA Self-Petitions: Undocumented LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of intimate partner violence who are married to a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident and has experienced intimate partner violence may be eligible for immigration relief.

U-Visa Survivors of an enumerated list of crimes, which includes intimate partner violence, may be eligible for immigration relief. 

Asylum: Undocumented LGBTQ and HIV-affected community members who are afraid to return to their country of origin because of violence and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status may be eligible for immigration relief.

The contents of this website are intended to provide general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of this website, the posting and viewing of the information provided should not be relied upon for legal advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments as law affecting LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals is in constant flux. An appointment with AVP’s Legal Team should be made for any advice on specific legal issues.

Connect with our legal team

Our legal services program helps LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors every day.