JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS MEMPHIS AREA LEGAL SERVICES
$314,405 TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES TO WOMEN
MEMPHIS, TN - Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today that the Justice Department is awarding the Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) $314,405 to provide legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program is funded under the Violence Against Women Act and supports projects that provide comprehensive legal services through direct representation and victim advocacy, which enhances victims’ safety and strengthens economic autonomy.
“This funding promotes partnerships among all components of the legal system to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These resources are vitally important to meet the needs of victims and to hold offenders accountable,” said Attorney General Ashcroft. The MALS,
in partnership with the YWCA’s Abused Women’s Services and the University of Memphis School of Law, uses staff attorneys, pro bono lawyers and court-certified Legal Clinic students to provide a full range of legal representation.
Memphis Area Legal Services is using funds to:
· Provide social services and civil legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and stalking;
· Strengthen the participation of, and increase the number of cases referred to pro bono attorneys;
· Strengthen the counseling, referral and advocacy services provided at the YWCA;
· Continue year-round instruction at the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic.
In addition, MALS will continue to coordinate a community response between victim advocacy services and legal services and increase the visibility of the project for easy recognition within the community.
The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program began as a set-aside from the STOP
(Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program and was created in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000. The grants are awarded by the Office of Justice Programs’ Violence Against Women Office (VAWO).
For information about the MALS grant, contact Harrison D. McIver with the Memphis Area Legal Services, at 901/523-8822. Information about this and other initiatives involving violence against women is available on VAWO’s Website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo or OJP’s Website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 1-800/851-3420.
After hours contact: Angela Harless on 202/616-3266 or pager #888/763-8943