The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence (Center) was awarded funding from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women Legal Assistance for Victims Grant in October 2008 to enhance the services provided by the Center’s Northcutt Legal Clinic. This funding will allow the Clinic to continue to provide free civil legal services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, in the Center’s six county service area, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George. Additionally, the these funds have allowed the Clinic to expand services to assist the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter (DAFS) in Laurel with much needed legal assistance for victims in their eleven county service area, Covington, Forrest, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marion, Perry, Smith, and Wayne.
Harry Yoste, Clinic Director, says: “Expansion of legal services for victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault to the Pine Belt area of Mississippi will respond to a great need in that area. Resolving issues of divorce, custody, support, and protection can help victims move on with their life so that they can take care of themselves and their families. I look forward to working with our new attorneys, Shirlee Baldwin and Sharri Herring, and with the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter to provide the services needed by victims in the expanded service area.”
Becky Sims, Executive Director of the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, Inc. says that she is very excited about the opportunity to partner with the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence to provide the services of the Northcutt Legal Clinic to our eleven county service area. “This partnership will allow our clients to access civil legal services at no cost in a manner that has not been available for some time.”
Named for law enforcement officer, James Northcutt, who died in the line of duty on a domestic violence call in Long Beach, Mississippi on May 6, 1998, “the Northcutt Legal Clinic will ensure victim safety and continuity of services as civil legal services are an integral component of the comprehensive victim services offered by the Center” states Sandra Morrison, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence. The Clinic welcomes Sharri Herring as the Coast Contract Attorney, Shirlee Baldwin as the DAFS contract attorney, and Gina McKnight as the Legal Advocate.