Law | National

California Indian Legal Services announces new VAWA project

Staff from the California Indian Legal Services and the Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition. Photo from Facebook

The California Indian Legal Services announced the launch of a new Violence Against Women Act project.

According to a press release, CILS will provide advocacy and assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in San Diego County. The county is home to 18 reservations, the most of any county in the U.S.

The Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition is partnering with CILS on the program. It was made possible by a three-year $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice.

"This program will provide victims with a safety plan, crisis intervention assistance, a danger assessment, and restraining order assistance to meet their emergency and immediate needs,” Dorothy Alther, the executive director of CILS, said when the grant was awarded last September.

“We provide many other culturally sensitive services to victims, including emergency shelter placement, crisis intervention, advocacy, court accompaniment, support groups, healing circles, teen groups, and community prevention and education," said Germaine Omish-Lucero, the executive director of the Strong Hearted Native Women's Coalition.

As part of the project, Yvette Morales will serve as the domestic violence advocate for clients. Susan Platt Dalati will be the lead attorney.

According to DOJ statistics, Native women are more likely to be victimized than any other racial or ethnic group.

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