9.6.2012 Costa Announces $400,000 to Provide Legal Services to Kern Crime Victims

Creates Positions for 3 Additional Victim Advocates

Bakersfield, Calif.  – Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA) has received $400,000 from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. With this award, GBLA will collaborate with the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault in order to strengthen its programs that provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

“Long before their legal battle begins, victims of domestic violence have all too often been fighting in silence and need a place to turn,” Costa continued.  “Since 1968, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance has been working to give survivors a voice in the court system and access to the justice they deserve. As the co-chair of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, I have worked to ensure that organizations and local governments have the resources necessary to protect and assist vulnerable populations.”

Incorporated in 1968, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance provides free comprehensive legal assistance and representation services to residents of Kern County. With this award, they will hire an additional full-time attorney, one part-time paralegal, and a full-time bilingual case manager.

Costa serves as the co-chair and co-founder of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus. The mission of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus is to elevate crime victim issues in Congress in a bipartisan manner without infringing on the rights of the accused, and to represent and to advocate before the Administration and within Congress on behalf of crime victims.