Community Legal Services

A New Life Appreciated


Tania Portorreal refers to herself as “another person now.” Now a confident, independent, 41-year-old woman, it’s hard to imagine her any other way. However, Tania went through quite a difficult time just a few years ago. After enduring years of domestic violence from her husband, she managed to leave him and the Dominican Republic behind with her two-year-old son, Ishaan. Tania and her son moved in with Jose, a family friend living in Florida. She was afraid to do anything for the first six months, so she began cleaning and cooking for him to make a living. Jose suggested Tania reach out to Community Legal for help.

 

Tania explained her situation to the team at Community Legal and they immediately put the wheels in motion to work for her divorce, custody of her son, and her United States residency. An overwhelmed Tania was relieved to hear the words from her counsel, “Don’t be afraid. Everything will be okay.” She came from being alone and without money or a home. The services Tania received at Community Legal were a turning point in her life.

 

“I did it and other people can do it do,” says Tania with overwhelming appreciation. It may have been tough, but with Tania’s strength; her will to do better for herself and her son; and the help of Community Legal, they got through this difficult time. Now, Tania has a job she loves at Publix, and a car and a home of her own. She continues to work with Community Legal towards her United States citizenship. She’s also celebrating her one-week wedding anniversary with the new man in her life. Her son, Ishaan is thriving and excited to be starting kindergarten soon. “Whatever you want to do, you can do it. For your family. For you,” says Tania. For those considering seeking guidance from Community Legal, Tania says with sincerity, “Everybody there is smiling every time they see you. You are in a good place.”

 

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida is an agency benefitted by United Way of Marion County. Community Legal receives funding for its Domestic Violence Prevention Advocacy Project which provides domestic violence victims in Marion County with free legal services to help them obtain safety and independence from their abusers.
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