Statement of John G. Levi, Chairman, LSC Board of Directors, on National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2010

Washington, DC -- Domestic violence is a serious and pervasive problem across the country, and we ask that you join the Legal Services Corporation in observing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Legal aid lawyers who work in the 136 nonprofit programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation in all 50 states are on the front lines in our nation's effort to protect victims of domestic violence and restore them to lives of safety and security.

Domestic violence occurs more often in households facing economic distress, and many families are facing financial strain in these difficult economic times. Nearly 35 percent of all cases handled by LSC-funded programs across the country involve family law issues, including domestic violence. At the local level, legal aid programs are partners in efforts to provide comprehensive, coordinated services to assist victims in attaining long-term self-sufficiency and independence from abuse.

Our partners at the national level include the United States Department of Justice, which provides funding to many of our programs through the Violence Against Women Act. Still, the nonprofit programs funded by LSC need far greater resources to adequately address this serious national problem. Access to civil legal aid is vital to our continuing progress to reduce and prevent domestic abuse.

In observing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we ask that each of you take a moment to consider the implications for our country if victims are unable to be properly freed from continuing abuse. We urge your continuing support of local legal aid programs, which make meaningful differences in the lives of individual Americans every day.

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Posted: October 6, 2010