A Fort Worth nonprofit organization received a grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to support victims of sexual and other violent crimes.
The Women’s Center of Tarrant County was awarded a $9,600 grant, which will fund its Legal Services program.
“For many individuals having the necessary $400 to pay Legal Fees in a timely manner is a significant financial burden,” center’s President and CEO Laura Hilgart said. “This can be especially true for those seeking a divorce as perpetrators of violence against spouses and children very often also commit financial “abuse” as a means to control and dominate their victims.”
The center said a majority of their clients who seek legal assistance are “working poor” or earn enough to disqualify them for local legal indigent fee waiver programs. In either case, the clients are unable to pay for private representation to continue their case, the center said.
“Funding from The Texas Bar Foundation will allow these victims to escape abusive relationships, address trauma, find “safety” and participate in the criminal justice system to convict perpetrators,” Hilgart added.
The center has served more than 155,000 women, men and children over the years. The center launched its Legal Services program in 2015.
The center also runs a comprehensive Rape Crisis and Victim Services program, while providing violence prevention education, employment solutions and general counseling.
The Texas Bar Foundation awarded $1.3 million in grants to 89 organizations last year. The grant to Women’s Center of Tarrant County is part of a $1.3 million total grant amount the foundation plans to award again this year.