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Denial Of Federal Grants Leaves Hole In N. Va.'s Domestic Violence Safety

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In Northern Virginia, several organizations dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence say the next couple of years could bring a dramatic reduction to the help that's available for women in the region.

For each of the past eight years, the Tahirih Justice Center has been awarded a federal grant from the federal office of violence against women.

Tahirih provides legal assistance to hundreds of immigrant women fleeing violent countries or homes.

This year, for reasons still unclear to Tahirih Executive Director Layli Miller-Muro, the grant has been denied.

"That is a net loss to us--over a period of two years--of over $500,000, and it puts at risk the services of more than 100 women for us," Miller-Muro says.

The same federal office is denying a grant to Northern Virginia Legal Services, which does similar work.

"The loss of these federal funds by the Tahirih Justice Center, Northern Virginia Legal Services and other organizations will result in the funds to serve over 1,000 immigrant women and girls," she says.

The Office on Violence Against Women says it gave a high score to Tahirih's grant proposal, but that there were "other factors" considered in denying the grants.

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