UO Law Domestic Violence Clinic awarded $500,000

Investment expands legal service to seven Lane County campuses

Oct 06, 2017

Eugene, Ore. – The Domestic Violence Clinic at the UO School of Law was recently awarded $500,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women. The funds will be used to continue services provided by its civil clinic, which serves the Eugene and Springfield communities, and expand services provided by Student Survivor Legal Services, which serves students at UO, Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College, New Hope Christian College, Pioneer Pacific College, Gutenberg College, and Pacific University.

“This award from the DOJ will allow the Domestic Violence Clinic to continue and expand its provision of comprehensive and holistic legal services to clients,” said Merle Weiner, faculty director of the clinic. “With this funding, the clinic can help victims of abuse in Lane County who have all sorts of legal needs.  We can offer them on-site advocacy services from our community partner, Womenspace.  We can provide translation and interpretation services for monolingual non-English speaking clients.  And importantly, we can continue teaching our law students how to serve this particular population in a comprehensive and holistic fashion.”

Since 1999, low-income survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault in Lane County have had access to services through the School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic. In 2014, with funding from the State of Oregon’s Department of Justice, the clinic opened Student Survivor Legal Services, the nation's first on-campus legal office devoted entirely to serving campus survivors with civil, criminal, and campus disciplinary matters. This grant will fund positions for a Womenspace advocate, a staff attorney for the civil clinic, and a new attorney in Student Survivor Legal Services to support services on six Lane County campuses of higher education apart from UO.  A lawyer who is a recent UO law graduate will fill this new position.

In addition to its direct work with clients in Lane County, the Domestic Violence Clinic plays a national role in meeting the needs of survivors.  Recently, it acted as amicus, or an impartial advisor to the court, in a case before the California Court of Appeals regarding personal jurisdiction and restraining orders. It is also an amici in a case currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Davies v. Davies involving a domestic violence victim who fled from French St. Martin with her child.

If you have experienced sexual assault, stalking, abuse, dating or domestic violence, contact Womenspace (541-485-8232) or Sexual Assault Support Services (541-343-7277).

If you are a college student in Lane County and have experienced sexual assault, abuse, stalking, dating or domestic violence, call 541-346-8619 or click to schedule an appointment online.