October 29, 2012
The YWCA Central Alabama was recently awarded a three year Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant from the Department of Justice: Office of Violence Against Women. The LAV Grant Program is intended to increase the availability of legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking who are seeking relief in legal matters arising as a consequence of that abuse or violence.
The objective of the LAV Grant Program is to develop innovative, collaborative projects that provide quality representation to victims. This grant will be used to provide direct legal services to victims of domestic violence and enhanced training for lawyers representing these victims.
LAV grant funds will enable the YWCA to hire two new attorneys to join the YW Family Law Center. The YW Family Law Center is a comprehensive, holistic, legal services system that serves victims of domestic violence in Jefferson, St. Clair and Blount counties. The YWCA is the area's only certified provider of domestic violence services and is an established leader in court advocacy and legal services. The YW Family Law Center provides legal representation over a broad spectrum of legal issues that survivors encounter.
Victims who attempt to seek relief without an attorney are faced with a fragmented and confusing court system that is especially unfriendly to victims choosing self-representation. Providing them with comprehensive legal representation bolstered by an array of YWCA supportive services helps victims escape battering and live a life that is violence-free.
Without a comprehensive response to their civil legal needs, often times domestic violence victims return to their abusive environment. The Center's attorneys work diligently to accomplish their goal of ensuring the victims' safety. Their training and knowledge allows them to relate to and address the specific and unique concerns of their clients - concerns that might be overlooked or misunderstood by lawyers unfamiliar with the experiences and needs of victims of domestic violence.
The YWCA would like to extend a special thank you to the Department of Justice for their support of our mission. We appreciate your continued care and concern for the women and families that we have the privilege of serving.
To find out more about Domestic Violence Services and other YW programs, click here.