CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – September 19, 2012 – The Coastal Bend Community Foundation has awarded a grant of $1500 to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in support of free legal services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The award will provide support for the training of legal aid attorneys and advocates from rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters in the Coastal Bend area as they ensure that victims have immediate access to legal help when leaving their abusers. The attorneys and advocates work together as part of TRLA’s Legal Alliance for Survivors of Abuse (LASA) Project.
“Access to the legal system is an important tool in helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said TRLA attorney and director of the LASA project Maricarmen Garza. “For many victims, it can mean the difference between life and death.”
Every year legal aid attorneys and victims’ advocates come together at a statewide domestic violence training developed by TRLA. At the conference, advocates discuss changes in the laws protecting victims and best practices to turn victims into survivors. The funds from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation will support that initiative.
Added Garza, “The support of the Coastal Bend Community Foundation ensures that victims will continue to receive the help they need to rebuild their lives.”
Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free 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 legal assistance and related educational services.
The Coastal Bend Community Foundation was incorporated in 1981 with the mission of enhancing and improving the quality of life in the seven counties of the Coastal Bend. The Foundation serves donors by providing a vehicle for the establishment of various types of charitable funds designed to fulfill their wishes. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $69 million in donor contributions and revenues to scholarships to students and grants to nonprofit organizations.