Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $550,000 in federal funding for the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. The funding is provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women’s Justice for Families Grant Program. The Legal Aid Society of Rochester will use the funding to provide families within the criminal justice system with a history of domestic violence and sexual assault with essential legal and visitation services. The funding will also help train advocates and victims on the legal rights and services that are available for families within the justice system. The Legal Aid Society of Rochester will work in collaboration with the Society for the Protection and Care of Children, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and the Monroe County Family Court to help provide these services.
“This federal funding will provide invaluable services to the residents of Rochester who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse. We must send an unequivocal message that domestic violence and violence against women will not be tolerated,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased that the Department of Justice has provided this funding to the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, and will continue fighting to ensure that victims of domestic violence have the services they need.”
“Domestic violence is a serious problem and we need to work towards creating a safe environment for individuals and families. With this critical funding, the Legal Aid Society of Rochester and their partners will be able to provide help for victims and their families when they seek justice, train officials and victims about their rights, and expand help for survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is important that we support and encourage domestic violence victims as they seek assistance, and I will always fight for programs that provide the necessary resources to protect our families.”
“We are thrilled to receive this funding from OVW’s Justice for Families Program and the opportunity to enhance the capacity of our community’s response to families impacted by assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The Justice for Families Legal Project will build on the established partnerships between the Society for the Protection and Care of Children, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester; providing a multi-faceted approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and youth and victim parents of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking,” said Carla M. Palumbo, President & CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester.
Specifically, this federal funding will help do the following:
- Provide supervised visitation and exchange services to at least 45 families per year;
- Support a full-time attorney to provide legal representation, legal counseling, and lead three legal clinics per year;
- Provide training for advocates and victims on legal rights and supervised visitation services available; and
- Provide outreach and training to underserved communities such as teen parents, refugees, and members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The DOJ Office on Violence Against Women’s Justice for Families Grant Program works to implement certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. The Justice for Families Program works to improve the response of all aspects of the civil and criminal justice systems for families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or with cases of child sexual abuse. The program focuses on keeping victims and their children safe from further abuse and holding offenders accountable. More information can be found here.