The Domestic Violence Clinic at the University of Oregon was awarded $500,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The funds will be used to expand services throughout Lane County.
Merle Weiner is a professor of law at the U of O and faculty director of the Domestic Violence Clinic. She says last year, 275 people were served.
“Most of our clients are domestic violence victims,” Weiner said, “and then I would say sexual assault victims, and then the smallest is probably stalking. But there is overlap in those three categories so you can have somebody who’s experienced all three of them and that’s not uncommon.”
The clinic provides a comprehensive range of legal services to victims and trains law students to do this type of advocacy work after they graduate.
The grant will fund positions for attorneys and an on-site advocate. And it allows them to expand their services to six institutions of higher learning in Lane County, including Lane Community College and Northwest Christian University.
Weiner says low-income victims have all sorts of legal needs. In 2014 the clinic opened Student Survivor Legal Services, the nation’s first on-campus legal office devoted to serving campus victims of abuse.