August 26, 2005

Idaho receives funding to combat domestic violence

Funding will provide legal aid for victims of domestic violence

Washington, DC â??Victims of domestic violence across Idaho will now have access to legal assistance through funds totaling $425,000 announced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence through the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) program grant. The LAV grant allows the Coalition along with public agencies and assault shelters to provide legal aid to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking through direct representation and/or victim advocacy to enhance victimsâ?? safety and economic security. â??This grant is an example of federal dollars being put to vital use,â?? Crapo said. â??The Coalition has been working for years to ensure that the women, men, and children of Idaho do not have to remain prisoners of domestic and sexual violence. Many domestic violence organizations across the state will benefit from this needed federal assistance.â??â??This funding is critical for victims of domestic violence who need the assistance of Idahoâ??s laws and court system to break the cycle of violence through protection orders, divorce and custody orders,â?? said Sue Fellen, executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence. â??This funding will ensure that victims of domestic violence throughout the state, particularly in rural and underserved communities, can access free civil legal assistance from trained legal aid attorneys, law school clinic students, and volunteer attorneys. In an effort to continue to broaden services available to victims, this will accomplish a number of goals, including training law students on the dynamics of domestic violence. We thank the Office on Violence Against Women for the opportunity to strengthen effective responses to violence against women.â?? Services this funding provides include:â?¢The Idaho Legal Aid Services, University of Idaho College of Law and the Idaho Volunteer Lawyer Program will provide direct legal services.â?¢Idaho assault shelters will provide safety planning and referral services for victims.â?¢The Idaho Migrant Council, Idaho Commission for Hispanic Affairs, Agency for New Americans and the Coeur dâ??Alene and Nez Perce Tribes will provide victim assistance with collaborating organizations for legal assistance.