The Alipato Project’s Legal Director Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas and Volunteer Attorney Rowena Collins represented P in a civil suit against D for damages arising out of domestic abuse. When D willfully ignored P’s civil complaint, P’s attorneys obtained an entry of default on her behalf.
At the default judgment hearing, P offered into evidence her medical records, photographs of injuries, and the testimony of her brave daughter, sister, and friends. P testified that D subjected her to years of physical abuse and sexual assault.
On one occasion, shortly after D grabbed P by the ribcage and slammed her down onto their bed, P began to exhibit flu-like symptoms. Her body ached and she had a fever. Hiding her bruises, P went to the emergency room because she believed she had the flu. The doctor informed P that the fever was from the physical injuries she suffered as a result of D’s reprehensible actions: she had bruises all over her body and a serious rib injury. To this day, although more than a decade has passed since this incident, she continues to suffer from pain in her ribs.
After years of resisting domestic violence, P left her abuser. She was able to do so with the help of her family and friends who gave her the financial and emotional support she needed to escape for good.
The judge awarded P $250,000 in compensatory damages for her pain and suffering. Notably, the judge said to P, “I’m sorry this happened to you,” and… “I hope you have a good weekend.”
Alipato Project thanks the following volunteers for helping P with her case:
Rowena Collins volunteered countless hours interviewing P, drafting pleadings and moving papers, compiling evidence, and attending hearings. Attorney Collins led with her heart, prioritized P’s emotional wellbeing, and created a safe space for P to share her entire story.
Talia Alarid courageously waited outside of D’s home for hours to personally serve him P’s summons and complaint. This saved Alipato Project from having to hire a professional process server. (As a nonprofit organization, every dollar saved goes toward helping other resisters of domestic violence.)