Legal Assistance for Victims

These grants are for increasing the availability of civil and criminal legal services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in matters arising from the abuse or violence.

The goal is to develop innovative, collaborative programs within the legal system
credit: NBC Philadelphia

that promote victim safety and increase victim economic autonomy.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Direct legal services (e.g., representation in protection order, family law, or housing matters) for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; law school clinical programs and curricula on domestic violence; projects that establish partnerships between local domestic violence or sexual assault programs and legal services providers.

Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

FY 07: Applications: 277, Awards: 71; FY 08: Applications: 242, Awards: 66; FY 09: est. Applications: 242, Awards: 46.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program provides an opportunity for communities to enhance legal assistance for victims.

Funds may be used: (1) to implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts and projects between domestic violence, dating viiolence, and sexual assault victim services organizations and legal assistance providers to provide legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault; (2) to implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault by organizations with a demonstrated history of providing direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of these victims; and (3) to provide training, technical assistance, and data collection to improve the capacity of grantees and other entities to offer legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible grantees for this program are private, nonprofit entities, Indian tribal governments and tribal organizations, territorial organizations, and publicly funded organizations not acting in their governmental capacity, such as law schools.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Beneficiaries include public or private nonprofit entities providing legal assistance primarily to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and or stalking.


Grantees must certify that any person providing legal assistance has completed or will complete training that was developed with a domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault coalition or program and that the grantee's policies do not require mediation or counseling of offenders and victims together. Grantees must also verify that any person or organization providing legal assistance has informed and will continue to inform State, local, or tribal domestic violence or sexual assault programs and coalitions and appropriate State, territorial, tribal, and local law enforcement of their work.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application forms furnished by the Federal agency, in accordance with 28 CFR Part 66 (Common Rule), must be used for this program.

Application Procedures

Applicants must apply online through the portal. The receipt, review, and analysis of application will follow Office on Violence Against Women policies and procedures for the administration of grant applications. This program is subject to provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Upon approval by the Office on Violence Against Women, online notification is sent to the applicant agency with copies of the Grant Award. One copy of the Grant Award must be signed electronically by an authorized official and returned to the Office of Justice Programs.


Contact the Office on Violence Against Women for application deadlines.


Violence Against Women Act of 2000, Section 1201, 42 U.S.C. 3796gg-6, as amended; Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, Title I, Section 103, Public Law 109-162.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Applicants will be notified by the end of the fiscal year.




Continuation grant awards are competitively selected and determined on a case-by-case basis.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This is not a formula grant program. Grants will be made for amounts up to 100 percent of the costs of the project contained in the approved applications. Matching is not required for this grant program; however applicants are encouraged to maximize the impact of Federal grant dollars by contributing to the costs of their projects. Supplemental contributions may be cash, in-kind services, or a combination of both.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Up to 24 months. Funds are released on an as-needed basis to the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


Semi-annual progress reports, quarterly financial reports, and a final report are required, as stipulated in the effective edition of M7100.1, Financial and Administrative Guide for Grants.

Progress reports should explain the activities carried out and include an assessment of the effectiveness of those activities in achieving the purposes of the program, including number of persons served and numbers of persons seeking services who could not be served.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organization," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


The award recipient must keep complete records on disposition of funds.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $32,201,088; FY 08 est $27,897,281; and FY 09 est $19,528,097.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$138,000 to $600,000; $416,377.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

OJP Financial Guide is applicable. Legal Assistance for Victims Grantee Policy Guidebook.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice, 800 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20530; Telephone: (202) 307-6026.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria are established by the Office on Violence Against Women and are included in an annual Application Kit.

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