There are different kinds of bravery: the courage of police officers, firefighters and soldiers. There’s also the bravery of domestic violence survivors who end abusive relationships to make their own way in life, often as single moms.
One of the many challenges they face is in dealing with a divorce in which there are domestic violence allegations, and often, complex matters such as child custody or spousal support (alimony) or both.
Grant money for survivors
Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner recently announced that there are now federal Department of Justice grants totaling $1,827,899 to assist survivors of violence against women.
The grants are from the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) and “will be used to provide long term legal services to victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in areas such as family law, housing and employment,” said Lenzner.
He added that with the funds, survivors will be able to “achieve lasting safety” for themselves and their children.
The money is intended to help provide “comprehensive direct legal services” for legal matters related to the abuse or violence they’ve endured. According to a Department of Justice statement, the services to be paid for include “family matters such as divorce, child custody or child support,” as well as other matters, including immigration, housing and more.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) says in the course of a year, more than 10 million women and men are “physically abused by an intimate partner.”
The nonprofit organization also states that domestic violence (aka intimate partner violence) accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime in the U.S.
Because domestic violence allegations can alter a court’s decisions on child custody and spousal support, it’s important to understand your legal options.