St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence to get $114,640 in federal funding
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 5:24 am

St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence is getting $114,640.85 through a federal program that funds crime victim assistance programs and child advocacy centers.

Crime victims often face numerous hurdles that can prevent them from securing legal representation in civil matters. Some can't afford an attorney or are unaware of the pro bono legal services available to them in their community. In addition, victims of certain crimes, such as domestic violence involving undocumented immigrants, human trafficking and elder abuse, may be reluctant to seek assistance because of fear or embarrassment, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in announcing the funding.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the grants at a press conference at the lower Manhattan headquarters of Safe Horizon, one of the grant recipients and the largest nonprofit victim services provider in the country. The nearly $16 million announced statewide represents the total awarded to the 61 programs for the first year of their five-year contracts with OVS. Exact grant awards for years two through five of the contract, which runs through Sept. 30, 2023 and coincides with the federal fiscal year, will be determined. Click here for a complete list of victim assistance programs receiving grants.

Victim assistance programs will use these grants, funded through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), to hire or contract attorneys who will represent individuals in civil matters resulting from their victimization. For example, victims of intimate partner violence, child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse and human trafficking may need assistance with protective or restraining orders; face issues with housing or custody; or need legal intervention with creditors and other entities because of identity theft or financial fraud. These attorneys also may file motions with the court to vacate convictions; State law allows individuals convicted of certain prostitution crimes who are determined to be victims of certain sex or labor trafficking to seek that remedy, Cuomo’s office said.