Federal funding focuses on preventing violence against Maine women

$843,619 will be used to stop domestic violence, support rape crisis centers, and provide legal assistance for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -Three groups dedicated to preventing violence against women receiving more than $800,000 dollars in federal funding.

The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault is receiving $152,345 for its State and Territorial Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence allocated $91,274 for its State and Territorial Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program

The bulk of the funding, $600,000, is going to the University of Southern Maine for its Legal Assistance for Victims grant program.

According to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, the State and Territorial Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program supports the enhancement of coalitions by funding specific projects and is a set-aside program under OVW’s STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program. State and territorial domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions serve as a collective voice to end violence against women, providing direct support to member rape crisis centers through funding, training and technical assistance, public awareness activities, and public policy advocacy.

The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant (LAV) Program is designed to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance programs for adult and youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are seeking relief in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence, at minimum or no cost to the victims. The University of Maine System, acting through the University of Southern Maine and its collaborative partners, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, Safe Voices, and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, will use this LAV award to help reduce the unmet need for assistance through enhancement and expansion of civil legal services in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties in Maine. Funding from this award will enable the collaborative to: 1) develop an evaluation plan and performance measurement tools; 2) support a Volunteer Lawyer’s Project Justice Coordinator; and 3) acquire “Survivors Stations” equipment, which will enable advocates to print abusive electronic messages that victims receive, enabling them to be used as evidence in court.

The money comes from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.

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