Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $600,000 for Legal Assistance of Western New York. The funding is provided by the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program. Legal Assistance Of Western New York will use this funding to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. This funding will be used to provide legal services to victims, provide training to staff on legal issues affecting victims, conduct outreach on available services to students at colleges and universities, and expand the network of partners to expand the services available to victims. Legal Assistance of Western New York operates throughout fourteen counties in New York State, including: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates Counties.
“This federal funding will provide invaluable services to the residents of Upstate New York 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 and sexual assault are serious problems, and we need to work towards creating a safe environment for individuals and families. With this critical funding, Legal Services of the Western New York and partnering organizations will be able to provide guidance and legal services for victims and their families when they seek help,” said Senator Gillibrand. “It is important that we support and encourage domestic violence and sexual assault victims as they seek assistance and justice, and I will always fight for programs that provide the necessary resources to protect our families.”
“LawNY is incredibly grateful to be receiving continued funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women,” said Amy Christensen, a Deputy Director at Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. “The Legal Assistance for Victims grant has allowed us to develop a group of specially trained lawyers and paralegals who provide a holistic range of civil legal services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault on issues including family law, housing, employment, public benefits and health. We work closely with our partner agencies who provide critical support services, and this partnership makes it possible for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in our rural area to access the civil legal services they need to obtain greater safety and stability.”
The DOJ Office on Violence Against Women’s The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant (LAV) Program works to implement certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. It is designed to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance programs for adult and youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are seeking relief in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence, at minimal or no cost to the victims. More information can be found here.