U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,157,021 in federal funding for two Capital Region legal aid groups dedicated to providing legal representation to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. The funding was allocated through the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women and is authorized through the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant Program. Specifically, Legal Project, Inc. in Albany County – founded by the Capital District Women’s Bar Association – will receive $600,000 to provide comprehensive legal services to victims, recruit pro bono attorneys and partner with local colleges and universities to inform students and staff about available resources. The Unity House of Troy in Rensselaer County will receive $557,021 to provide comprehensive legal services and conduct legal workshops for staff and students on local college campuses, as well as conduct outreach to rural survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
“Domestic and dating violence is never acceptable and we must do all we can to both prevent it in the first place and take care of those who are victimized by it. Fortunately, there are organizations like The Legal Project in Albany and the Unity House of Troy dedicated to providing legal aid to victims so we can help those affected get the justice they deserve,” said Senator Schumer. “I will continue doing everything I can to ensure organizations like these have the resources they need to combat these horrible crimes.”
“This critical federal funding through the Department of Justice will help facilitate a wide range of programs to better assist domestic violence survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Domestic violence is a serious problem and we need to work towards creating a safe environment for individuals and families. By increasing accessibility to legal services for survivors we can help provide the support and resources they need to be protected and put their lives back together.”
The Legal Project is a private, not-for-profit organization that was founded by the Capital District Women’s Bar Association in 1995. It provides a variety of free and low cost legal services to the working poor, victims of domestic violence and other underserved individuals in the Capital District of New York State.
The Unity House of Troy is a Rensselaer County-based human service agency that provides a wide range of services to meet the otherwise unmet needs of people in the community who are hurting and struggling. Its services assist those who are living in poverty, adults living with mental illness or HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence, and children with developmental delays.
The goal of the grant programs through the Office on Violence Against Women is to create sustainable change within and between organizations that results in accessible, safe and effective services for individuals who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and accountability for perpetrators of such crimes. The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program is designed to strengthen 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 arising as a consequence of that abuse or violence.