PARIS — The Domestic Violence Task Force will meet from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, at the Norway Town Office.

The focus of the meeting will be the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project. Speaker will be Juliet Homes-Smith, director, who will talk about the services of the VLP, a statewide nonprofit organization that matches lawyers who are willing to provide pro bono (free) representation to low income Mainers with civil legal problems.

In addition, an expansion of a VLP program to rural communities will be discussed. In collaboration with Abused Women’s Advocacy Project, the VLP is developing a rural version for Oxford and Franklin counties of a program that already exists in Cumberland and York counties. The model is designed to provide better access to legal counsel in rural areas, specifically in protection from abuse hearings.

The public is invited to attend the task force meeting. In addition, lawyers are encouraged to attend who may be interested in participating in the rural program to learn more about a training for lawyers on Sept. 14.

The task force meets monthly and is a community effort with a focus on healthy and safe living. Goals are summed up by PEACE, which stands for prevention, education and intervention, awareness, coordination of available services and ending domestic abuse.

In addition to domestic violence, meetings have provided information about sexual assault, dating violence, substance abuse, under-age drinking, teenage pregnancy, state programs, legal services for the elderly, legal issues, transportation resources and shelter and housing options.

For more information, contact Diane Gallagher, AWAP, 364-9908, or Debbie Dembski, REACH, 743-9777.

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