Legal Aid Receives Grant to Support Victims of Domestic Violence in West Texas

ALPINE, Texas – January 11, 2012 – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has received a $25,000 grant from the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation to support free legal services for victims of domestic violence in West Texas.

The grant will help fund TRLA’s efforts to provide legal protections to low-income victims of domestic violence in Brewster, Crockett, Jeff Davis, Kimble, Mason, Presidio, Reeves, Sutton, and Terrell counties. The grant will also support the continued legal alliance between TRLA and the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend, a partnership that allows victims to receive free legal assistance from the moment they turn to a shelter for help.

“Victims of domestic violence are often unable to afford the high cost of hiring an attorney to help them escape from abuse,” said TRLA Executive Director David Hall.  “The support of the King Foundation comes at a critical time for low-income West Texans in need of free legal help.”

The King Foundation’s support comes as repeated budget cuts on the state and federal levels are forcing legal aid organizations to cut back on services to low-income residents in need of help with issues such as escaping an abuser, avoiding foreclosure, or fighting for child custody. In addition, a weak economy has led to a surge in the demand for free legal services and the number of people eligible for legal aid.

Every year TRLA assists more than 20,000 low-income Texans with their civil legal needs. In 2010, TRLA helped more than 100 victims of domestic violence in West Texas obtain protective orders, get divorces, or secure child custody.

“Without free legal help, many victims of domestic violence return to their abusers,” added Hall. “These funds will help save lives.”

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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