Tuesday, September 2, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott's Crime Victims Assistance Unit Awards 278 Grants To Community Service Groups

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced $28 million in assistance grants to 278 public and non-profit organizations in Texas to help individuals and families who have been the victims of violent crime.

"There is nothing we can do to completely erase the pain that violent crime inflicts," said Attorney General Abbott, "but these funds and the victims service organizations who receive them will help create a bridge to full recovery and healing in communities throughout Texas."

The grants were made through the Attorney General's Crime Victims Services (CVS) Division following a formal application and review process and will be utilized for services such as grief counseling, shelters for battered women and advocate for victims of child or elder abuse. The funding was approved by the 2003 Legislature and is provided through the state Crime Victims Compensation Fund, which is managed by the Office of the Attorney General.

Attorney General Abbott personally asked the Legislature to maintain the victims grant program, noting that the fund puts millions of dollars into local community programs, where it makes a direct difference in the lives of Texas victims and their families.

During today's announcement, Attorney General Greg Abbott was joined by members of three of the organizations that received grants, representing the diversity of grant recipients throughout Texas. Among them were Susan and Don Cox, who founded "For the Love of Christi" after their daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 1987. Also attending were representatives of The Political Asylum Project of Austin, which helps immigrant survivors of domestic violence, and SafePlace Austin, a shelter providing services for victims of domestic violence.

"The organizations standing with me today represent the kind of grassroots support that can help victims of crime wherever their needs may be. Their stories should inspire and motivate all Texans to help make a difference the lives of their neighbors. We owe them a debt of gratitude."

For additional information on resources available in their area, victims and their families can contact the Attorney General's Crime Victims Services Division at 1-800-983-9933 or online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.

For more information on organizations awarded grants in your area, members of the media should call the Attorney General's Press Office at (512) 463-2050.