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Hundreds of survivors of violence and abuse will achieve safety and independence through legal assistance grants announced today.
The Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, Inc. (WisTAF), will distribute $450,000 in Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse (DVSA) Legal Services funding to twelve organizations around the state. These grant recipients will help survivors accomplish critical legal tasks for themselves and their families.
Such tasks include securing restraining orders, carrying out divorces, and negotiating child placement and guardianship.
“Sometimes, a legal issue is the only thing standing in a person’s way when they work for a safe, stable life,” said Rebecca L. Murray, executive director of WisTAF. “Yet there is no Constitutional guarantee of an attorney in civil matters. That’s why legal assistance is crucial for making ‘justice for all’ a reality. In fact, survivors of violence and abuse in Wisconsin face far more legal issues than our state’s funding allocation is currently able to address.”
The State of Wisconsin created the DVSA Civil Legal Services program in 2015. The program taps funds from the federal Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program. Clients in the DSVA program are parents or caretakers of children, or are pregnant, with limited incomes or limited access to their own money. Abusers frequently prevent survivors from accessing their own funds.
Details on the twelve grants are listed below. WisTAF administers the DVSA program, reporting to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
WisTAF is the state’s civil legal aid funding administrator established by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created by the Court to aid in the administration of justice, WisTAF works with civil legal aid organizations in the state to increase access to justice. WisTAF oversees funds and invests in services to help people resolve legal problems.
2022-23 DVSA Civil Legal Services Grantee Organization
|Area Served||Primary Office Location||Grant Award(s)|
|CASDA||Ashland, Bayfield, and Douglas counties||Superior||$37,500|
|Centro Legal||Milwaukee and Waukesha counties||Milwaukee||$50,000|
|Community Justice, Inc.||Dane, Dodge, Crawford, Columbia, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Marquette, Rock, Sauk, and Waushara counties||Madison||$50,000|
|End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin ‒ RISE Legal Center||Statewide||Madison||$20,000|
|Golden House||Brown and Kewaunee counties||Green Bay||$37,500|
|Household Abuse Victims Emergency Network (HAVEN, Inc.)||Lincoln County||Merrill||$20,000|
|Indianhead Community Action Agency||Barron, Burnett, Clark, Polk, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn counties||Ladysmith||$50,000|
|Judicare Legal Aid||33 counties in northern Wisconsin, Native American clients statewide||Wausau||$55,000|
|Kids Matter, Inc.||Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, limited services statewide||Milwaukee||$35,000|
|Legal Action of Wisconsin||39 counties in southern Wisconsin||Milwaukee||$57,500|
|Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services||Marinette and Oconto counties||Marinette||$22,500|
|The Women’s Center||Southeastern Wisconsin||Waukesha||$15,000|
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