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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Overview

Victim Legal Assistance Networks

In the wake of a crime, victims face many hurdles on the path to healing.  Victims may be involved in criminal or civil justice proceedings.  Victims may also find that they experience problems with housing, employment, education, immigration and other issues related to their victimization, each of which may require legal expertise.

For example, victims of home-invasion robberies may incur costly damage to their residences and want to replace the locks or make other repairs.  Items taken might be used to steal the victims’ identities.  Reporting the crime, attending court, and dealing with fraud protections might require time off work resulting in the victim being fired.  Or the victims may be afraid to report the crime due to their immigration status or because the perpetrator is known and has threatened retaliation.

The legal systems that victims may move through are each complex, and victims cannot assume that their rights will be protected.  Qualified legal assistance can help victims navigate these systems, ensure that their rights are enforced and help victims find resolution.  Unfortunately, no- and low-cost expert legal services for victims are in short supply.  When a victim is able to access legal assistance, that provider may not be able to address the full scope of a victims’ needs, or know where to make a referral for additional services.

To begin to address this gap, the federal Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is funding nine Legal Assistance Networks across the country. NCVLI is the training and technical assistance provider to these nine Wraparound Legal Assistance Networks.

Working together with our Partners, our vision is that some day every victim will have access to a knowledgeable lawyer to protect all of his or her rights!

Click on the buttons above to learn more about the project.  

This project was supported by Grant No. 2014-XV-BX-K013, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.