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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1998202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Attorney General today announced $11.5 million for law school legal clinics, victims and legal services organizations, battered women's shelters and bar associations in every state to strengthen civil legal assistance for domestic violence victims. The Civil Legal Assistance grants, awarded by the Justice Department for the first time this year, will support legal services on behalf of domestic violence victims in civil matters directly related to their abuse.

"Too many victims can't get the help they need to pursue civil remedies," said Reno.

"These funds can help victims begin to 'pick up the pieces' and take practical steps to bring order to their lives," added Bonnie Campbell, Director of the Violence Against Women Office.

Grant funds can be used to establish legal advocacy programs to assist victims with obtaining and enforcing protection orders, divorces or separations, spousal and child support and child custody or visitation. They can also help victims with other matters related to their abuse, such as access to benefits, housing matters and matters related to employment. In addition, grant funds can be used to recruit and train attorneys who will provide pro bono civil legal assistance to domestic violence victims.

The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO) is awarding one grant within every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for collaborative programs that reach more battered women on a broader range of issues. Grant applicants were encouraged to link civil legal services and domestic violence victim advocacy programs, as well as to reach out to underserved populations.

"These funds will allow us to enhance victims' access to attorneys and legal advocates who understand the impact of domestic violence on their lives," said Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for OJP. "They will also establish collaborative efforts among domestic violence victim advocacy organizations, local agencies and businesses to provide on-site legal advocacy, assistance or information to battered women in places, such as police departments, prosecutors' offices, the courts, public housing agencies, hospitals, clinics, schools and libraries."

Grant funds will be used to strengthen law school clinical programs, such as George Washington University's Domestic Violence Advocacy Project in Washington, D.C., where student attorneys will work with hospital emergency room personnel and will be available 24 hours-a-day to respond to battered women. Legal aid services organizations, like Lane County Legal Aid Service, Inc. in Eugene, OR, will use grant funds to partner with shelters to provide representation to battered women in protective order hearings and other civil legal matters.

Three organizations, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Organization for Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Bar Association's Fund for Justice and Education, proposed projects that are national in scope and will also receive funds. They will develop model programs to strengthen legal services for battered women, implement law school clinical programs responsive to the needs of battered women and develop approaches to identify and address battered women's civil legal needs.

Attached is a list of the specific grant awards. To learn more about the civil legal assistance program and other violence against women efforts, visit the Violence Against Women Grants Office website at or OJP's website at, or call the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 1/800-851-3420.



After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 888/582-6750






ALABAMA Penelope House, Inc.


ALASKA Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault


AMERICAN SAMOA U'una'i Legal Services Corporation


ARIZONA Arizona Bar Foundation


ARKANSAS Ozark Legal Services


CALIFORNIA The University of California at Davis School of Law


COLORADO University of Denver College of Law


CONNECTICUT Greater Hartford Legal Assistance, Inc.


DELAWARE Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA George Washington University


FLORIDA Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.


GEORGIA Atlanta Legal Aid Society


HAWAII Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline


IDAHO Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.


ILLINOIS Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.


INDIANA Legal Services of Maumee Valley, Inc.


IOWA Legal Services Corporation of Iowa


KANSAS Kansas Legal Services, Inc.


KENTUCKY Cumberland Trace Legal Services, Inc.


LOUISIANA Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation


MAINE Penquis Community Action Program


MARYLAND House of Ruth Baltimore, Inc.


MASSACHUSETTS Southern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation


MICHIGAN Women's Justice Center


MINNESOTA Anishinabe Legal Services, Inc.


MISSISSIPPI Gulf Coast Women's Center for Nonviolence


MISSOURI The University of Missouri Office of Sponsored Programs


MONTANA Montana Legal Services Association


NEBRASKA Legal Aid Society, Inc.


NEVADA Volunteer Lawyers of Washoe County


NEW HAMPSHIRE Franklin Pierce Law Center


NEW JERSEY National Center for Protective Parents


NEW MEXICO El Refugio, Inc.


NEW YORK Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society


NORTH CAROLINA Pisgah Legal Services


NORTH DAKOTA North Dakota Legal Services


OHIO Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.


OKLAHOMA Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma, Inc.


OREGON Lane County Legal Aid Service, Inc.


PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center


PUERTO RICO Community Law Office, Inc.


RHODE ISLAND Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.


SOUTH CAROLINA Acercamiento Hispano de Carolina del Sur


SOUTH DAKOTA Cangleska, Inc.


TENNESSEE Knoxville Legal Aid Society, Inc.


TEXAS Travis County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survival Center


UTAH Utah Legal Services, Inc.


VERMONT Vermont Legal Aid, Inc.


VIRGINIA Virginia Poverty Law Center, Inc.


VIRGIN ISLANDS Legal Services of the

Virgin Islands


WASHINGTON Legal Assistance by Whatcom Advocates


WEST VIRGINIA Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, Inc.


WISCONSIN Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc.


WYOMING Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault