(SPRING VALLEY, NY) -- In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) presented Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) with $90,000 in State funding to go towards legal services for domestic violence survivors. The funding was secured though the New York State 2019-2020 budget. LSHV’s CEO, Barbara Finkelstein said the funding is critical to LSHV, the sole provider of civil legal services, across seven counties, to those who cannot afford an attorney.
“Legal Services of the Hudson Valley provides critical services to survivors of domestic violence that can help them escape their abuser and build a life free from fear and instability," said Finkelstein. "As we observe National Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, we are honored to partner with Senator Carlucci to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors in Rockland. We are grateful to the Senator for expanding this funding, so that we can assist more survivors who are facing civil legal matters but are unable to afford an attorney and have nowhere else to turn.”
The funding will allow LSHV’s Spring Valley office to hire another staff attorney to work on domestic violence cases. LSHV has seen an increase in the number of domestic violence cases in Rockland County, reaching almost 30% of their caseload in 2017. LSHV works with survivors in local family courts on custody, visitation, child support and divorce proceedings.
"We know outcomes for domestic violence survivors are better when they have legal representation,” said Senator David Carlucci. “The statistics surrounding domestic violence are horrific, and we need to make sure victims are being helped to seek the justice they rightfully deserve. Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is helping victims and survivors who may otherwise not be able to afford an attorney."
Jordan Hollingsworth, a LSHV client, expressed his gratitude to the attorneys who helped him seek orders of protection against abusive family members.
"I sought assistance with a name change because I no longer wished to be associated with my family name due to the abuse that I suffered throughout my life and that increased when I disclosed my sexual orientation," said Hollingsworth. "I was hesitant to share my story, but I hope in doing this, another person may come forward. I thank the Senator for securing this funding because now others can be helped by these dedicated staff attorneys."
Founded in 1967, LSHV is the only provider in the Hudson Valley of free, comprehensive, legal services in civil matters (noncriminal) for individuals and families who cannot afford an attorney when their basic human needs are at stake. This includes urgent legal needs such as: domestic violence (orders of protection, child custody, etc.), housing emergencies (eviction and foreclosure prevention), healthcare, children's law and advocacy, disability and benefits, elder law, consumer fraud and more. In pursuit of this mission, LSHV maintains a staff of 136 individuals, including 82 attorneys and 27 paralegals working across nine offices throughout our service area.
For more information about Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, to volunteer, or contribute, please visit www.lshv.org, or contact Tom Gabriel, Chief Development Officer, at 914-949-1305 ext 160.