A local organization dedicated to helping victims of crime is receiving some major additional support.
The Crime Victims Assistance Center or CVAC has been awarded a $1.2 million dollar grant through the U-S Department of Justice.
The DOJ acknowledged the lack of legal assistance to support crime victims dealing with a wide range of legal issues.
With the grant spread out over five years, CVAC will be able to hire two-full-time attorneys and a paralegal to provide legal services for crime victims at no cost.
Director of Client Services Christine Battisti says this is something that the area is in great need of. “Just last year, Crime Victims Assistance Center served over 400 victims just in the legal advocacy department. A lot them don’t have the financial means for an attorney and its a barrier for them getting equal visitation rights with their kids or custody.”
Battisti says they will also be able to help victims with orders of protection, divorce proceedings and eviction notices.
The attorneys offices will be located in the Broome County Office Building.
The CVAC provides free counseling to survivors as well as a 24-hour crisis line and advocacy programs.
It has offices in Binghamton, Endicott and Norwich.