Legal Aid Receives DOJ Funding to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, Texas – September 27, 2010 – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, is proud to announce the receipt of two grants from the Department of Justice that will contribute more than half a million dollars to helping victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The grant awards support TRLA’s Legal Alliance for Survivors of Abuse (LASA) program, a collaborative effort between TRLA and twenty-four partner domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers.  The LASA program ensures that victims begin receiving the legal help they need to protect their families and leave their abusers from the moment they turn to a shelter.

“This level of support is critical to helping domestic violence victims who are often facing life and death situations,” said Maricarmen Garza, director of the LASA program. “With the support of the Department of Justice, TRLA will be able to help victims become survivors.”

With the average family law attorney charging $200 an hour for services, victims of domestic violence often do not have the means to pay for the legal help they need to escape abusive situations.  By providing free legal services through partner shelters and crisis centers, TRLA works to prevent victims from having to return to their abuser and get the protection they need to rebuild their lives.

The funding was received thanks to the support of U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX – 25), U.S. Representative Ciro Rodriguez (TX – 23), U.S. Representative Charles Gonzalez (TX – 20), and state Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa.

Added Garza, “Helping victims of domestic violence overcome their situations is a community effort. Thanks to the support of our legislators and the federal government, TRLA will continue to provide much-needed legal support in critical situations.”

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services.

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