September 18, 2019
Press Release
Grant made available through Violence Against Women Act; underscores importance of reauthorization that is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate

(Rochester, NY) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle announced that $600,000 in funding has been awarded to The Legal Aid Society of Rochester to support victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The funding is made available through the Violence Against Women Act.

“I’m so pleased that this significant grant will help ensure survivors of domestic and sexual assault have the essential support they need and deserve,” said Rep. Morelle. “This underscores exactly why the Violence Against Women Act is so vital to the safety and well-being of our communities – because it helps fund life-saving services like those offered by the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and RESTORE Sexual Assault Services. I am grateful to these organizations for their tireless work to support victims during their time of need, and I will keep fighting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and ensure they have the resources to continue this important work.”

"The Legal Assistance to Victims grant is a welcome tool to address the challenges faced by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence,” said Carla Palumbo, President & CEO of The Legal Aid Society of Rochester. “This program is a multi-county urban and rural collaborative that responds to the need for holistic civil legal services, advocacy, support and training."

“This collaboration will enhance the safety and well-being of survivors by increasing access to legal representation and addressing the complex civil legal needs of survivors which, if left unresolved, would compromise safety. Quite literally this partnership will save lives,” said Meaghen de Chateauvieux, CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center.

“RESTORE Sexual Assault Services, a program of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, is proud to be a partner in the Legal Assistance to Victims grant,” said Mary Jo Marino, MS, Director of Education and Outreach for RESTORE Sexual Assault Services. “This collaboration enhances options and advocacy available to survivors and their loved ones which empowers all those affected to begin and thrive in their healing journey.”

This grant award for $600,000 over three years is funded by the Violence Against Women Act and provides continued support for legal services in Monroe, Orleans, and Genesee counties.

Specifically, the grant funds legal services on civil issues that arise as a result of domestic violence which, when resolved, enhance survivor safety. Services will include but not be limited to: obtaining a divorce, safe housing, custody, child support, employment issues, relocation, name change, crime victim compensation and resolving immigration issues.

This funding brings together partners like Willow Domestic Violence Center and RESTORE Sexual Assault Services to help provide holistic services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.