More than $2M in grants awarded for legal assistance to domestic violence victims

Nine nonprofit agencies have been awarded grants totaling $2,071,474 to provide civil legal services for the victims of domestic violence.  
 
The funds will help about 5,200 low-income Georgia victims who are in need of a variety of legal services, such as obtaining protective orders from the courts to help protect their safety.
 
“The funds that have been granted to these civil legal services providers will make a positive difference in the lives of many victims and their children throughout Georgia,” said Chief Justice Hugh Thompson of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Chief Justice particularly praised the granting of funds to organizations in rural Georgia.
 
“There are few legal resources and a disproportionate number of domestic violence deaths in certain rural areas of our state,” he said. “I am pleased that some of the grant funds were earmarked to specifically address this need.”
 
The grants were awarded June 13 by the Domestic Violence Committee of the Judicial Council of Georgia.  The Judicial Council is the primary policy-making body for Georgia’s judicial branch and is chaired by the Chief Justice and composed of judges representing all classes of courts.
 
Among those receiving grants were the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, Inc., and the Wayne County Protective Agency.

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State funds are appropriated annually to the Judicial Council by the Georgia General Assembly for legal services and domestic violence training.  Divorces, deportations, or other legal matters not associated with the victim’s safety or economic security are not included. Prior to receiving these grant funds, the new grantees must comply with the Judicial Council of Georgia’s grant guidelines, which includes limiting the provision of the approved civil legal services to victims whose income falls below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. In 2013, the Domestic Violence Committee awarded $1.6 M in grants.

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