California Indian Legal Services Announces New Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Project

California Indian Legal Services (CILS) and our partner, Strong Hearted Native Women’s Coalition (SHNWC), will provide holistic, comprehensive, culturally appropriate advocacy and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking in San Diego County. CILS and SHNWC’s VAWA Project is funded through a $500,000, three year grant for Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) from the U. S. Department of Justice.

Through this project, CILS is able to provide victims with a safety plan, crisis intervention assistance, a danger assessment, or assistance in obtaining restraining orders. The goal and objective of the grant is to provide the victims with permanent protection and long term legal relief in the areas of a divorce, child custody and visitation, division of community property and child and spousal support.

This program will serve survivors of domestic violence from San Diego County, the nine Native American reservations in North San Diego County (Rincon, Pauma, Mesa Grande, Santa Ysabel, La Jolla, San Pasqual, Los Coyotes, Pala, and Inaja/Cosmit) as well as surrounding communities. Through our Native American domestic violence and sexual assault shelter the number of reservations served has increased to all 18 reservations in San Diego County (the highest number of reservations in a single county in the U.S.)

California Indian Legal Services is proud to announce and welcome two new staff members under the VAWA Project. Our new Domestic Violence Advocate is Yvette Morales, who brings three years of advocacy experience to CILS. Susan Platt Dalati will serve as the VAWA Project’s Domestic Violence Attorney. Ms. Dalati has represented individuals in domestic violence and family law cases for over twenty seven years. Both Ms. Dalati and Ms. Morales come to us from North County Family Violence Prevention Center.

We are pleased to have Yvette and Susan on board, and look forward to a productive future meeting the needs of the community.

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