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Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Public Organizations, and Tribal Agencies
to Increase Legal Services for Victims of Gender-Based Violence

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/19 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofits, Territorial organizations, Tribal governments and organizations, and publicly funded organizations to increase legal services available for victims of gender-based violence. Applicants must initiate required registrations two weeks before applying.

The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grant Program is intended to increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by providing funds for comprehensive direct legal services to victims in legal matters relating to or arising out of that abuse or violence. Comprehensive legal services should, as much as possible, extend beyond representation in emergency and non-emergency protection order hearings to address the broad spectrum of legal issues that victims encounter, including family matters such as divorce, child custody or child support, immigration, administrative agency proceedings, and consumer or housing matters.

Pursuant 34 U.S.C. § 20121(c), funds under this program must be used for one or more of the following purposes:

1. To implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts and projects between sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence victim service providers and legal assistance providers to provide legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

2. To implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by organizations with a demonstrated history of providing direct legal or advocacy services on behalf of these victims.

3. To implement, expand, and establish efforts and projects to provide competent supervised pro bono legal assistance for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, except that not more than 10 percent of the funds awarded may be used for this purpose.

OVW Priority Areas

In FY 2019, OVW is interested in supporting the priority areas identified below. Applications proposing activities in the following areas will be given special consideration.

1. Reduce violent crime against women and promote victim safety.
2. Increase the response to victims of human trafficking.
3. Increase efforts to combat stalking.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166867

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

OVW estimates that it will make up to 54 awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

This program typically makes awards in the range of $600,000 - $800,000.

Funding levels under this program for FY 2019 are:

1. New and Continuation LAV Grant Program applications that are proposing to provide legal services primarily to victims domestic violence or to provide less than 80% of the project’s legal services to victims of sexual assault may request up to $600,000 for the entire 36-month project period.

2. New and Continuation LAV Grant Program applications that are submitted by sexual assault victim service providers that are proposing to provide 80% or more of the project’s legal services to victims of sexual assault, beyond intimate partner sexual assault, may request up to $800,000 for the entire 36-month project period.

Term of Contract:

The award period is 36 months. Budgets must reflect 36 months of project activity, and the total “estimated funding” on the SF-424 must reflect 36 months. Generally, the award period will start on October 1, 2019.


  • Institutions of Higher Education; IHE(s)
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to apply for this program (34 U.S.C. § 20121(c)):

1. Private nonprofit entities;
2. Publicly funded organizations not acting in a governmental capacity such as law schools;
3. Territorial organizations;
4. Indian tribal governments,
3 including Indian tribal consortia; and
5. Indian tribal organizations.

For the purposes of this solicitation, a territorial organization is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking within a United States Territory, which include Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Required Partnerships
A lead applicant that is not a domestic violence and/or sexual assault victim service provider is required to enter into a collaborative working relationship with a sexual assault and/or domestic violence victim service provider in the community to be served as outlined in a memorandum of understanding.

Activities that Compromise Victim Safety and Recovery and Undermine Offender Accountability: OVW does not fund activities that jeopardize victim safety, deter or prevent physical or emotional healing for victims, or allow offenders to escape responsibility for their actions.

The activities listed below are out of the program scope, and they will not be supported by this program’s funding.

1. Research projects (This does not include program assessments conducted only for internal improvement purposes. For information about DOJ regulations on research involving human subjects, see “Research and Protection of Human Subjects” in the Solicitation Companion Guide).
2. Representation in tort cases.
3. Child sexual abuse cases (i.e., involving victims under the age of 11).
4. Cases involving the child protection system unless the child dependency hearing involves allegations “relating to or arising out of” abuse of the client (rather than abuse of the children).
5. Criminal representation of victims charged with crimes.
6. Support of law reform initiatives, including but not limited to litigation.
7. Providing general training and/or technical assistance to agencies that are not formal or informal LAV Grant Program project partners.
8. Cases involving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
9. Funds for victim assistance/support unrelated to the provision of legal assistance or legal advocacy (such as transitional housing assistance, therapeutic counseling, and rental assistance).

Unallowable Costs:
The activities listed below are unallowable, and costs for them must not be included in applicants’ budgets.

1. Lobbying
2. Fundraising
3. Purchase of real property
4. Physical modifications to buildings, including minor renovations (such as painting or carpeting)
5. Construction

Food and Beverage/Costs for Refreshments and Meals:
Generally, food and beverage costs are not allowable. OVW may approve the use of grant funds to provide a working meal at a meeting, conference, training, or other event, if one of the following applies:

1. The location of the event is not in close proximity to food establishments, despite efforts to secure a location near reasonably priced and accessible commercial food establishments.
2. Not serving food will significantly lengthen the day or necessitate extending the meeting to achieve meeting outcomes.
3. A special presentation at a conference requires a plenary address where there is no other time for food to be obtained.
4. Other extenuating circumstances necessitate the provision of food.

Pre-Application Information:

Registration: To ensure all applicants have ample time to complete the registration process, applicants must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number, register online with the System for Award Management (SAM) and with immediately, but no later than, January 17, 2019.

Letter of Intent: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent by January 17, 2019. This letter confirms that the applicant has registered with SAM and . Submitting a Letter of Intent will not obligate a potential applicant to submit an application. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Intent are still eligible to apply.

Pre-Application Information Session: OVW will post a pre-recorded Pre-Application Information Session on its website for entities interested in submitting an application for this program. Listening to this session is optional. Interested applicants who do not listen to the prerecorded session are still eligible to apply. The session is tentatively scheduled to be available by December 10, 2018 on the OVW website

Applications submitted after 11:59 p.m. E.T. on January 31, 2019 will not be considered for funding, unless the applicant receives OVW permission to submit a late application. In limited circumstances, OVW will approve a request to submit an application after the due date.

Notification: OVW anticipates notifying applicants of funding decisions by October 1, 2019.

Applicant resources:

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For assistance with the requirements of this solicitation contact the following: for programmatic questions, contact the POC for this program at (202)307-6026 or, for financial questions, contact (202)307-6026 or

Katharine Sullivan, Acting Director
Office on Violence Against Women

The Help Desk can be reached at 1-800-518-4726 and is available 24/7, except federal holidays.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)