23 Focused on What Matters When “Jenny” was 15 years old, she started seeing “Leonard,” a man at least 10 years her senior. He wasn’t exactly honest with her about his age, nor was he an ideal boyfriend. At one point, he kidnapped Jenny, and while her parents and the police were looking for her, he repeatedly raped her. After this incident, Leonard continued to pursue Jenny, and they briefly got together again.When Jenny found out she was pregnant, he decided he wanted nothing to do with her—nothing, that is, until their son“David”was born. The monster, as Jenny refers to him, would resurface around David’s birthday, first calling Jenny to yell at her and get verbally abusive, and later showing up in person to threaten her. Through the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center, which operates a free legal hotline for low-income Massachusetts residents, Jenny’s case was referred to Mintz Levin. Assisted by Project Analyst Amarynth Sichel, attorney Ella Shenhav was able to obtain a restraining order against Leonard. Helping Jenny and her son achieve safety and begin a happier chapter in their lives has been very rewarding for Ella.“Jenny is the kind of person you really want to help. She’s been through so much at such a young age,“ she says. Since Mintz Levin’s Domestic Violence Project was founded in 1989, the firm has made helping victims like Jenny a priority. Through the years, more than 600 attorneys, paraprofessionals, and staff members have worked on behalf of individual survivors in several of our offices. Beyond helping victims directly, attorneys have served as legal counsel for more than 25 nonprofits dedicated to combatting domestic violence and sexual assault, and have partnered with these organizations to advocate for legislative reforms and to write amicus and appellate briefs for cases at the state and federal levels. Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence, recently recognized the firm’s attorneys for their exceptional leadership, both in Massachusetts and nationally. “They do not leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of justice when a sexual or domestic violence program or victim is in need of help,” says Jane Doe Executive Director Mary Lauby.“Their contributions individually and collectively have literally saved thousands of lives.” Your kindness has lifted some of the tremendous burden of worrying about that monster. “Jenny” Combatting Domestic Violence Standing Up to a Monster (continued)