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    step forward foundation
    Due to the shelter in place orders in Santa
    Clara County, our office will be temporary
    closed to in-person meetings. Please call
    our main number to schedule a phone appointment.
    (408) 915-8698
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    step forward foundation
    Step Forward Foundation is a
    non-profit organization providing
    specialized legal services to
    low income communities.
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    step forward foundation
    Source: domesticviolencestatistics.org
    Domestic violence is the
    leading cause of injury to
    women—more than car accidents,
    muggings, and rapes combined.
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    Domestic Violence doesn't only happen to adults.
    40% of girls age 14 - 17 report
    knowing someone their age who
    has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

    1 in 5 female high school students
    reports being physically or sexually
    abused by a dating partner.
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    step forward foundation
    Source: Rainn.org, DOJ National Crime Victimization Survey
    There are an average of 237,868
    victims of rape and sexual assault
    each year.

Immigration law

We provide free immigration representation to families and victims of violence.

  • U Visa (Victim of certain crimes)
  • T Visa (Victim of human trafficking)
  • VAWA (Battered spouse of USC or LPR)
  • Asylum (Fear of return to home country)
  • SIJS (Unaccompanied minors)
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
  • Family petitions
  • Green Card Renewal
  • Deportation Defense

Family Law

We offer free limited scope family court services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Contested Restraining Orders
  • Child/Spousal Support
  • Parentage

Employment Law

We offer free limited scope employment representation and advice to victims of workplace crimes.

  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Retaliation
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment in the Workplace
  • Wrongful Termination

Step Forward is an equal opportunity service provider. We do not discriminate in the delivery of services or benefits based on ancestry, age, color, disability (physical and mental), genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation or request for FMLA.

Meet our Team

Front (left to right): Derek Elder, Karen Schulz, Dulce Sixtos
Back (left to right): Maria Ochoa, Sarah Cottingham, Stephanie Aguirre, Azucena Gonzalez

Karen Schulz, Executive Director
Azucena Gonzalez, DOJ Accredited Representative
Derek Elder, Staff Attorney practicing Immigration
Stephanie Aguirre, Staff Attorney practicing Immigration and Family Law
Maria Ochoa, DOJ Accredited Representative
Dulce Sixtos, Legal Assistant
Sarah Cottingham, Staff Attorney practicing Family Law
Teresa Gallardo, Paralegal (not pictured)
Ruth Silver-Taube, Of Counsel practicing Employment Law (not pictured)
Pai Venegas, Grants Administrator (not pictured)
Adriana Rodriguez, Bookkeeper (not pictured)

How can we help you?


2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report

Our Partners

© Copyright Step Forward Foundation 2014