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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office for District of South Carolina Celebrates Funding Awarded for Legal Services and Improved Court Responses to Domestic and Sexual Violence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- The need for specialized legal services is both urgent and essential for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. These services provide interventions, such as securing restraining or protective orders, that are crucial for survivor safety. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina is proud to announce that the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) awarded $1,500,000 to South Carolina to provide legal services and improve the effective coordination of justice systems impacting survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

OVW awarded $750,000 to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) and $750,000 to the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network (SCVAN) under the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Program. The LAV Program addresses the legal needs of survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

“These grants reflect our commitment to making South Carolina a more difficult place for violent actors to operate and a safer place for survivors,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “We are grateful to SCCADVASA and SCVAN for their tireless work in helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault find both justice and safety.”

“The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant, in conjunction with the Justice for Families Program and the Domestic Violence Mentor Court Technical Assistance Initiative, serve as a powerful multi-pronged strategy to transform the justice system’s approach to supporting families affected by violence," stated OVW Director Rosemarie Hidalgo. “These grants enhance court-related programs, trauma-informed training, and resources, while also providing victims with specialized legal support. This includes assistance with securing protective orders and navigating complex family law matters. Collectively, these grants advance a more comprehensive approach, aimed at ensuring that survivors and their families don’t merely navigate our legal system, but genuinely find a path to justice and safety.”

These grants are just one way the U.S. Department of Justice partners with community organizations to support and protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Earlier this week, representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in the 2023 POWER Act Conference hosted by the United States District Court and SCCADVASA. The conference provided attorneys, victim service professionals, and law enforcement officers with an overview of South Carolina’s civil protective orders and how they can trigger federal firearms prohibitions. A team of federal and state experts led a roundtable discussion on ways to improve collaboration between civil attorneys and criminal justice professionals to help protect victims from threats of gun violence.

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OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through implementing VAWA and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities nationwide that are developing programs, policies, and practices to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at www.justice.gov/ovw.

Contact

Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, brook.andrews@usdoj.gov, (803) 929-3000

Updated September 8, 2023

Topic
Community Outreach