The U.S. Department of Justice has announced $49.85 million in grants for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) aimed at offering legal services to survivors of “gender-based” violence.
The Legal Assistance for Victims Program seeks to address the legal needs of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault. The Eight Northern Pueblos Council, Inc. from New Mexico will receive a grant of $599,361 under the Legal Assistance for Victims Program.
The Justice for Families Program funds court and court-related programs, offers legal assistance to survivors, and provides training for child protective services workers.
“Meaningful representation for survivors is vital, but can be difficult to attain in the aftermath of violence, or when someone is still trying to find safety,” OVW Acting Director Allison Randall said, according to the release.
“Grantees under OVW’s Legal Assistance for Victims and Justice for Families Programs help survivors navigate complicated processes and potentially dangerous points along the way, including supervised visitation, protection orders, and divorce.”
OVW, VAWA, and Gun Regulation ControversyThe OVW was created in 1995 and implements the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The act was introduced by Joe Biden in 1990 when he was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In March this year, Biden signed into law the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022, which reauthorized all current VAWA grant programs until 2027. The reauthorized act included a controversial provision that prohibits individuals previously convicted of misdemeanor stalking from owning firearms.
“This is Washington at its filthiest. It’s proof that anti-gun lawmakers care more about smearing opponents than passing meaningful legislation,” he added.
In recent years, the annual appropriation for the multiple programs administered by OVW has come to around $500 million.