Donald Trump Plans to Eliminate Legal Aid Funding That Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence

When Sonota thinks about funding for legal aid being discontinued, she gets choked up. She believes defunding the LSC would sound a death knell for people like her.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Jordan Smith
Intercept, The
March 20, 2017

Tags: Domestic Violence, Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM), Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Voices for Civil Justice


That’s because the proposed budget eliminates the 43-year-old Legal Services Corporation, the federal entity that provides millions for state-based legal aid operations. Cutting its funding would deny millions of poor people access to the civil justice system, a circumstance that would disproportionately impact women, who make up 70 percent of clients served by LSC funds. Indeed, fully one-third of cases handled by LSC-affiliated groups involve women, like Sonota, who are victims of domestic violence.

In his budget note, Trump wrote that his “aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens — a government that puts the needs of its own people first. When we do that we will set free the dreams of every American, and we will begin a new chapter of American greatness.” Cutting a program that provides for the safety of domestic violence survivors — among many others — seems an odd way to achieve greatness.