Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $500,000 for the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, Inc. (VIBS) in Suffolk County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women and will be used to bolster assistance programs for survivors of domestic violence and rape. The grant will allow VIBS to provide a wide range of legal and support services and will also help enhance safety procedures, to better protect survivors and ensure an increase in offender accountability.
“When we do more to protect families from domestic violence, we can help put their lives back together, and keep more New Yorkers safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This grant will support the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk as they work to help create a safer environment for domestic violence and rape survivors.”
“Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, Inc. an Islandia, New York-based non-profit domestic violence and rape crisis counseling and advocacy agency, is pleased to be the lead recipient of Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women Legal Assistance to Victims grant funds,” said Clarice Murphy, MS, Associate Director. “ Together with partner SEPA Mujer, (Services for the Advancement of Women; a not for profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of Latina immigrant women), the agency will work to increase the availability of criminal and civil legal assistance needed to effectively aid underserved adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The agencies will offer holistic legal services to underserved victims, particularly those who are: 1) Spanish-speaking; 2) immigrants; 3) low-income; or 4) accessing Suffolk’s Integrated Domestic Violence Court for the first time.”
VIBS provides a wide range of legal services on matters such as immigration, divorce, child custody and child support. They also assist survivors with housing as well as financial education and support.
The funding is authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2000 and was reauthorized and revised in the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2013. Senator Gillibrand was a cosponsor of this legislation.