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U.S. Department of Justice: Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program

Deadline: February 1, 2018

The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by providing funds that may be used to provide direct legal services to victims in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence, at minimum or no cost to the victims. The LAV Grant Program supports holistic and comprehensive legal services. For example, survivors may also need legal assistance with other legal matters relating to or arising out of the abuse or violence, including family matters such as divorce, child custody, or child support, immigration, administrative agency proceedings, housing, and assistance related to human trafficking. Any services funded must be linked to legal assistance. Examples of activities beyond direct legal services that may be supported with LAV funds include:

  • Advocacy, as long as the advocate is providing services related to the legal assistance (e.g., safety planning, court accompaniment, preparation for court appearances, and assistance with obtaining resources such as housing, employment, and child care)
  • Translation services, if related to the legal services
  • Child care directly related to legal assistance (e.g. child care to enable the victim to meet with his/her attorney or go to court)
  • Transportation related to the legal assistance (e.g., travel to meet with the lawyer or to court)

In 2018, funds under the LAV Grant Program may be used for the following statutory purposes:

  • To implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts and projects between sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence victim service providers and legal assistance providers to provide legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking
  • To implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by organizations with a demonstrated history of providing direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of these victims
  • To implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide competent supervised pro bono legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, except that not more than 10 percent of the funds awarded may be used for this purpose

Priority areas are detailed below:

  • Improve services for and/or the response to victims of sex trafficking and other severe forms of trafficking in persons who have also experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking
  • Increase support for survivors of sexual assault, including services, law enforcement response, and prosecution
  • Meaningfully increase access to OVW programming for specific marginalized and/or underserved populations (based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, etc.)
  • Increase the use of promising, evidence-based, and evidence-building practices, where available

Amount: Approximately $34,000,000 is available to fund up to 55 awards. Funding levels are as follows:

  • New and continuation applications that are proposing to provide primarily domestic violence focused legal services or less than 80% sexual assault focused legal services may request up to $600,000 for the entire 36 month project period
  • New and continuation applications proposing to provide 80% or more sexual assault focused legal services, beyond intimate partner sexual assault, may request up to $800,000 for the entire 36 month project period.

Eligibility: Private nonprofit entities; publicly funded organizations not acting in a governmental capacity; territorial organizations; Indian tribal governments; and tribal organizations. All lead applicants that are not domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service providers are required to enter into a collaborative working relationship with sexual assault and/or domestic violence victim service providers in the community.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=299318

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