Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amy's Courage Fund

In April 2002, Amy wrote a note and taped it to the inside of her desk drawer. It read "Today Ron Ball and I are romantically involved, but I fear I have placed myself at risk in a variety of ways. Based on his criminal past, writing this out just seems like the smart thing to do. If I am missing or dead this obviously has not protected me... " Two months after writing this note, Amy Latus tragically lost her life to domestic violence.

Amy's Courage Fund is named in honor of Amy Lynne Latus and the many other victims who have suffered in silence. We all know an Amy -- she's the girl next door, the woman standing in front of you at the grocery store. She's your sister, your mother, your friend, your coworker or maybe even you.

In addition to inflicting physical, psychological and emotional abuse, abusers often financially control their victims — forcing them to quit their jobs, giving minimal allowances to pay for household needs, and taking steps to ruin their credit. As a direct result, many victims lack the financial resources necessary to flee and establish a life free of violence.

The Amy's Courage Fund was established to alleviate the financial constraints that often prevent a victim from escaping abuse. Amy’s Courage Fund provides emergency financial assistance of up to $2,000 to victims of domestic violence and their children to meet their immediate needs after escaping an abusive home.
Since 2003, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has provided more than $600,000 in emergency financial assistance to families throughout the country, helping them to establish a new life free of violence.

Any adult survivor of domestic violence is eligible to receive funds. However, a domestic violence survivor must work with a domestic violence shelter/program or domestic violence coalition to submit an application for this fund. The following is a list of fundable expenses:
  • Moving and transportation costs for victims who are fleeing, such as plane, train or bus tickets, U-Haul rentals, hotels and other travel expenses;
  • Rent and security deposits for new, safe homes;
  • Utilities, utility deposits and phone hook-ups;
  • Medical expenses such as doctor appointments, medication and prescription eyeglasses;
  • Legal fees and expenses for filing for protection orders, custody agreements and divorce;
  • Car repairs and transportation needs; and
  • Furniture, appliances, clothing and other household goods.
In addition, in times of national crisis - such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - Amy's Courage Fund extends its emergency grants to domestic violence programs so that they are able to continue providing services in their communities.
While this list is fairly inclusive, there may be circumstances where a survivor has emergency needs that are not on this list. In these instances, agencies are encouraged to apply and clearly articulate how the need is related to a survivor's safety.

NNEDV will disburse grants up to $2,000 per application. The same survivor may not apply for more than one grant in a calendar year. Click here for more information. And contact your local DV Shelter in order to apply.


  1. What a wonderful idea! Much needed and will help many victims with yet another avenue towards their safety and freedom.

  2. I can't pull up the application, what's wrong?

  3. What's wrong with all of these domestic violence 'support' groups? I am going through domestic violence and all I get everywhere I turn is a dead end. Domestic violence is nothing but a joke in our society.