We are excited to announce that STAR was awarded two Federal grants from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). OVW released notification that STAR will receive $1,550,000 for the next three years to continue providing our advocacy and legal services to survivors of sexual violence.

OVW awarded STAR $750,000 through the Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program. This is a three-year project that will enhance STAR’s existing advocacy services in the Capital Area by allowing our organization to expand our reach to the rural parts of our service area, as well as hire a bilingual advocate to assist with reaching the unserved Spanish-speaking survivor population. STAR’s advocacy program provides support to sexual assault survivors through our hotline, accompaniment to hospitals and criminal justice system interviews, and case management services. In addition, as part of this project, STAR will work with the Office of the Governor of Louisiana and identified statewide partners to develop and implement laws and state policies that reflect best practices for responding to sexual assault.

OVW also awarded STAR $800,000 through the Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) program to expand our services to provide holistic, free, competent legal services to survivors of sexual assault throughout Central and South Louisiana.  Through this project, STAR will continue to partner with the Louisiana State University Law Center to provide a sexual assault legal externship to train law student on the vast legal needs of sexual assault survivors. STAR will also partner with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer organizations in Louisiana to develop products and materials targeted at LGBTQ minors who experience sexual assault.

Since STAR’s inception, the organization has served thousands of survivors and families by offering a non-judgmental, confidential source of support to help them move past the trauma of sexual assault. With notice of new Federal funding, STAR will be able to continue expanding its reach to underserved communities throughout Central and South Louisiana.