New Department of Justice collaboration between YWCA Lancaster and Community Action Partnership

Lancaster, Pa. (10/4/22) – YWCA Lancaster and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County, PA are proud to announce a grant award from the US Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The Legal Assistance for Victims 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.

This three year, half million-dollar federal grant will expand and strengthen the capacity of YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center (SAPCC) and Community Action Partnership (CAP)’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County’s Domestic Violence (DV) Legal Center, offering civil legal services to victim survivors free of charge. To provide these services, the agencies will hire a full-time attorney to handle civil legal matters, as well as a full-time legal advocate.

Senator Bob Casey and Representative Lloyd Smucker provided key support for the proposed new services to highlight the need for more resources for survivors across Lancaster County.
“YWCA Lancaster provides support, sanctuary and resources for people who need it. I was proud to advocate for this funding, which will substantially expand their capacity to provide free legal services to survivors. Every person deserves to feel safe within their community, and every survivor of abuse deserves their chance to seek justice and accountability,” said Senator Bob Casey.

“I want to congratulate the YWCA of Lancaster for receiving the Legal Assistance for Victims grant from the Department of Justice. I was pleased to provide a letter of support for their application. I am certain that YWCA Lancaster will use these funds to provide meaningful support to survivors of domestic violence. I thank the YWCA for all they do to support our community,” said Rep. Lloyd Smucker.

Services will begin this year once final federal approvals are secured, and new hires are oriented with both agencies.

“Collaboration is essential to meeting the needs of our community,” said Stacie Blake, CEO of YWCA Lancaster, “we are Lancaster County’s rape crisis center, but we know that survivors need support whether its due to sexual or domestic violence and often it’s both. Our whole community must be involved, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to partner with CAP on this vital program.”

“We are excited to partner with the YWCA to expand the resources available to survivors in our community,” said Vanessa Phibert, Chief Executive Officer of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster, the parent organization of Domestic Violence Services. “this new initiative will be a great support to families on their journey of healing and thriving.”