FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEVAWO
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1998202/307-0703

ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES NEW FUNDING TO ASSIST

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS WITH CIVIL LEGAL NEEDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Attorney General today announced $11.5 million for law school legal clinics, victims and legal services organizations, battered women's shelters and bar associations in every state to strengthen civil legal assistance for domestic violence victims. The Civil Legal Assistance grants, awarded by the Justice Department for the first time this year, will support legal services on behalf of domestic violence victims in civil matters directly related to their abuse.

"Too many victims can't get the help they need to pursue civil remedies," said Reno.

"These funds can help victims begin to 'pick up the pieces' and take practical steps to bring order to their lives," added Bonnie Campbell, Director of the Violence Against Women Office.

Grant funds can be used to establish legal advocacy programs to assist victims with obtaining and enforcing protection orders, divorces or separations, spousal and child support and child custody or visitation. They can also help victims with other matters related to their abuse, such as access to benefits, housing matters and matters related to employment. In addition, grant funds can be used to recruit and train attorneys who will provide pro bono civil legal assistance to domestic violence victims.

The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO) is awarding one grant within every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for collaborative programs that reach more battered women on a broader range of issues. Grant applicants were encouraged to link civil legal services and domestic violence victim advocacy programs, as well as to reach out to underserved populations.

"These funds will allow us to enhance victims' access to attorneys and legal advocates who understand the impact of domestic violence on their lives," said Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for OJP. "They will also establish collaborative efforts among domestic violence victim advocacy organizations, local agencies and businesses to provide on-site legal advocacy, assistance or information to battered women in places, such as police departments, prosecutors' offices, the courts, public housing agencies, hospitals, clinics, schools and libraries."

Grant funds will be used to strengthen law school clinical programs, such as George Washington University's Domestic Violence Advocacy Project in Washington, D.C., where student attorneys will work with hospital emergency room personnel and will be available 24 hours-a-day to respond to battered women. Legal aid services organizations, like Lane County Legal Aid Service, Inc. in Eugene, OR, will use grant funds to partner with shelters to provide representation to battered women in protective order hearings and other civil legal matters.

Three organizations, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Bar Association's Fund for Justice and Education, proposed projects that are national in scope and will also receive funds. They will develop model programs to strengthen legal services for battered women, implement law school clinical programs responsive to the needs of battered women and develop approaches to identify and address battered women's civil legal needs.

Attached is a list of the specific grant awards. To learn more about the civil legal assistance program and other violence against women efforts, visit the Violence Against Women Grants Office website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/VAWGO or OJP's website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or call the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 1/800-851-3420.

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VAW99003

After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 888/582-6750

OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS

FY 1998 CIVIL LEGAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS

STATE

GRANTEE

AMOUNT

ALABAMA Penelope House, Inc.

$88,018

ALASKA Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

$294,788

AMERICAN SAMOA U'una'i Legal Services Corporation

$274,500

ARIZONA Arizona Bar Foundation

$226,000

ARKANSAS Ozark Legal Services

$50,126

CALIFORNIA The University of California at Davis School of Law

$223,522

COLORADO University of Denver College of Law

$231,877

CONNECTICUT Greater Hartford Legal Assistance, Inc.

$224,999

DELAWARE Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.

$178,006

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA George Washington University

$200,892

FLORIDA Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.

$235,005

GEORGIA Atlanta Legal Aid Society

$223,684

HAWAII Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline

$243,374

IDAHO Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

$245,976

ILLINOIS Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.

$85,176

INDIANA Legal Services of Maumee Valley, Inc.

$240,423

IOWA Legal Services Corporation of Iowa

$215,442

KANSAS Kansas Legal Services, Inc.

$223,167

KENTUCKY Cumberland Trace Legal Services, Inc.

$78,330

LOUISIANA Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation

$90,938

MAINE Penquis Community Action Program

$257,947

MARYLAND House of Ruth Baltimore, Inc.

$225,240

MASSACHUSETTS Southern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation

$176,477

MICHIGAN Women's Justice Center

$242,140

MINNESOTA Anishinabe Legal Services, Inc.

$145,273

MISSISSIPPI Gulf Coast Women's Center for Nonviolence

$191,465

MISSOURI The University of Missouri Office of Sponsored Programs

$39,493

MONTANA Montana Legal Services Association

$264,628

NEBRASKA Legal Aid Society, Inc.

$220,968

NEVADA Volunteer Lawyers of Washoe County

$65,000

NEW HAMPSHIRE Franklin Pierce Law Center

$224,553

NEW JERSEY National Center for Protective Parents

$236,998

NEW MEXICO El Refugio, Inc.

$295,596

NEW YORK Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society

$254,577

NORTH CAROLINA Pisgah Legal Services

$188,878

NORTH DAKOTA North Dakota Legal Services

$85,560

OHIO Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.

$243,576

OKLAHOMA Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma, Inc.

$266,128

OREGON Lane County Legal Aid Service, Inc.

$281,200

PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center

$257,180

PUERTO RICO Community Law Office, Inc.

$205,771

RHODE ISLAND Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.

$238,548

SOUTH CAROLINA Acercamiento Hispano de Carolina del Sur

$109,073

SOUTH DAKOTA Cangleska, Inc.

$264,412

TENNESSEE Knoxville Legal Aid Society, Inc.

$170,637

TEXAS Travis County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survival Center

$247,866

UTAH Utah Legal Services, Inc.

$260,899

VERMONT Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.

$281,480

VIRGINIA Virginia Poverty Law Center, Inc.

$238,802

VIRGIN ISLANDS Legal Services of the

Virgin Islands

$215,205

WASHINGTON Legal Assistance by Whatcom Advocates

$44,914

WEST VIRGINIA Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, Inc.

$233,829

WISCONSIN Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc.

$39,422

WYOMING Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

$272,881

TOTAL

$10,860,859