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Feds fund domestic violence program

Domestic violence victims will be contacted with information about their abusers, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women. The funding will allow the program to be instituted in Brooklyn, and officials are eyeing the plan as a possibility for Queens and the other boroughs.
The grant is the largest amount of federal funding the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) has ever received, a spokesperson said. As part of the program - the Early Victim Engagement (EVE) Project - teams of domestic violence paralegals from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and non-profit groups will be stationed in Criminal Court seven-days-per-week from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., processing about 25 cases every 24 hours.
The paralegals will contact victims immediately after their abuser’s first court appearance to let them know the outcome of the bail hearing and whether an order of protection had been granted. In addition, victims will be connected with the city’s Family Justice Center in Brooklyn for crisis intervention and safety planning. The city’s second Family Justice Center, in Kew Gardens, is slated to open in spring 2008 and will provide counseling, career services, shelter and housing help, civil legal assistance, space to meet with prosecutors, and a children’s playroom.
Domestic violence victims can also call 3-1-1, the city’s help hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) and 9-1-1 in an emergency.

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