DOJ – Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program (2015)

APPLICATIONS DUE: March 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m., Eastern time


The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant Program is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking who are seeking relief in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence, at minimum or no cost to the victims. LAV Grant Program funds may not be used to provide criminal defense services.

The LAV Grant Program makes awards to law school clinics, domestic violence victims’ programs and shelters, bar associations, rape crisis centers and other sexual assault services programs, private nonprofit entities, Indian tribal governments and tribal organizations, territorial
organizations, and legal aid or statewide legal services. Grant funds may be used to provide direct legal services to victims of sexual assault, domestic  violence, dating violence, and stalking in matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence. The objective of  the LAV Grant Program
is to develop innovative, collaborative projects that provide quality representation to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Funding Title: OVW Fiscal Year 2015 Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program

Agency Name: Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid: Yes

Target Population: Victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking

Expected Number of Awards: The LAV Grant Program typically makes awards in the range of 66-77 awards. OVW estimates that it will make up to 77 awards for an estimated total of $34,000,000.

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

How to Apply:  Registration: To ensure all applicants have ample time to complete the registration process, applicants must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number, register online with the System for Award Management (SAM) and with] immediately, but no later than February 18, 2015.

Letter of Registration: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a letter of registration to by February 18, 2015. This will ensure that applicants are well-positioned to successfully submit an application by the deadline. This letter will not obligate potential applicants to submit an application. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Registration are stilleligible to apply.

Practical Note on Submitting Application From Previous LAV Applicant: “Last time we applied we spent hours trying to submit with the system rejecting it every time.  The issue was the version of Adobe we were using.  I have Acrobat Pro which does not work well with according to their tech support and I had Adobe Reader but I had version too new for their system.   When I checked the compatible versions, I still had versions that were not convertible. So I am deleting my Adobe Acrobat and uploading the older version. This is not quite as easy as one would hope.”

Current Closing Date for Applications:   March 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m., Eastern time

Estimated Total Program Funding:   $34,000,000

Award Ceiling:  Awards under the LAV Grant Program for FY 2015 will be made for up to $600,000 except that sexual assault focused applications may be made for up to $800,000.

Award Floor: $0

Eligible Applicants:

  • Private nonprofit entities
  • Publicly funded organizations not acting in a governmental capacity, such as law schools
  • Territorial organizations
  • Indian tribal governments
  • Indian tribal organizations
  • Indian tribal consortia

Priority Consideration:   

1. Sexual Assault Focused Applications
OVW recognizes the need to place increased focus on sexual assault in order to address the lack of available direct legal services for survivors of sexual assault and the unique aspects of sexual assault trauma from which survivors must heal. To increase legal services for victims of sexual assault, LAV continuation applicants that propose to focus 80% or more of their grant activities on sexual assault legal services may submit applications requesting up to $800,000. Applicants must demonstrate both an understanding of the range of legal services that a sexual assault survivor may require, and the capacity and willingness of the applicant and its partners to provide these services. Applicants should articulate the specific legal needs of sexual assault survivors within their communities and how project activities would meet those needs. Applications should also reflect the applicant’s specialized training and experience in legal matters specific to sexual assault.

2.  Holistic Legal Services

The LAV Grant Program was created to provide victims with access to appropriately trained representation designed to meet the broad spectrum of legal issues survivors encounter. OVW will give priority to applications that propose to provide victims with “holistic” legal representation. Although protection orders play an important role in victim safety, they do not address the breadth of legal needs of survivors of sexualassault,
domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Holistic representation goes beyond a victim’s need for a protection order and includes representation in other legal proceedings directly related to a client’s experience of violence such as: child support, child custody, legal separation/divorce, unemployment compensation, immigration matters, financial matters and/or housing.

3. Underserved Communities
In FY 2015, the LAV Grant Program encourages organizations with expertise in providing specialized legal services and representation addressing elder abuse, as well as to individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender (LGBT). Applicants stating that they will focus on legal services and representation addressing elder abuse (victims that are age 50 or older), and/or serve the LGBT community will need to demonstrate their expertise in providing appropriate population-specific services and/or
partnering with an organization with the requisite demonstrated expertise. Applicants stating that they will serve either or both the elder or LGBT communities will need to demonstrate in the applications that they 1) understand the holistic legal needs of these communities; (2) have expertise in providing appropriate population-specific legal services, or plan to partner with an organization with this demonstrated expertise; and (3) will
conduct appropriate outreach to these communities.

Current/Past Funding Recipients: 2014 – Invitation ; 2014 – Sexual Assault/Tribal ; 2013 ; 2012

Link to Full Announcement:

Contact Information: For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation, contact OVW at (202) 307-6026. In Fiscal Year 2015, OVW applications will be submitted through For technical
assistance with, contact the Customer Support Hotline at 1-800-518-4726. Number assigned to announcement OVW-2015-4036. It is anticipated that all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by September 30, 2015.

Categories: Children, Department of Justice, Domestic Violence, Elderly, Express Language for Legal Aid, Family, Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Subgrant Possibilities, Victims of Crime

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