Department of Justice: Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program Expanding Legal Services Initiative
Note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a non-binding Letter of Intent by January 26, 2023. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Intent are still eligible to apply.
The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant Program is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth (ages 11 to 24) victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault, by providing funds for comprehensive direct legal services to victims in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence. “Legal assistance” is assistance in: a) divorce, parental rights, child support, tribal, territorial, immigration, employment, administrative agency, housing, campus, education, healthcare, privacy, contract, consumer, civil rights, protection or other injunctive proceedings, related enforcement proceedings, and other similar matters; b) criminal justice investigations, prosecutions, and post-conviction matters (including sentencing, parole, and probation) that impact the victim’s safety, privacy, or other interests as a victim; c) alternative dispute resolution, restorative practices, or other processes intended to promote victim safety, privacy, and autonomy, and offender accountability, regardless of court involvement; or d) post-conviction relief proceedings in state, local, Tribal, or territorial court, with respect to a conviction of a victim relating to or arising from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or sex trafficking victimization of the victim.
The LAV Grant Program’s Expanding Legal Services Initiative (ELSI) is intended to enable eligible organizations that do not currently offer legal services to establish a program that provides legal representation to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
ELSI will address the following Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program purpose area: To implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault by organizations with a demonstrated history of providing direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of these victims.
Priority areas include:
- Advance racial equity as an essential component of ending sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. To receive priority consideration, the lead applicant must be a culturally specific organization.
- Improve outreach, services, civil and criminal justice responses, prevention, and support for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking from underserved communities, particularly LGBTQ and immigrant communities. To receive priority consideration, the lead applicant must be a population specific organization.
Applicants that receive funding under this program will be required to engage in the following activities:
1. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)-sponsored training and technical assistance (TTA).
2. Collection and reporting of performance indicators.
3. OVW may conduct a program assessment or evaluation necessitating grantee involvement. Therefore, recipients may be expected to dedicate some OVW-funded time and resources to participating in an assessment or evaluation.
4. Attend New Grantee Orientation.
5. Actively participate in OVW designated training and technical assistance (TTA) activities required for all ELSI recipients.
6. Host on-site visits for OVW designated TTA providers and OVW.
7. Designate or hire a staff member to act as the project coordinator.
8. Complete a planning period prior to providing legal services. The planning period is expected to last approximately 12 to 18 months. The planning period will conclude once funded applicants have completed the required activities (see solicitation for details), and received approval to begin the implementation phase.
Amount: A total of $3,200,000 is available to make an estimated eight awards of up to $400,000 over a 24-month performance period. Organizations funded under this solicitation may be eligible for up to five years of funding, two years under this solicitation and an additional three years of noncompetitive funding, provided certain conditions are met.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include Private nonprofit entities; Native American tribal governments including tribal consortia; Native American tribal organizations; territorial organizations (nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations addressing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking within a United States Territory). See solicitation for more definitions.
Eligible applicants are limited to the entities above that:
1. Has their mission or purpose serve victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The organization may be a larger multi-service organization that does not solely address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking but has a distinct division or program that that has the mission or purpose of serving victims of these crimes; and
2. Do not currently offer in-house legal representation services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking by attorneys who are employed by the lead applicant.
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