Law \ Legal

DOJ Earmarks $225M for Domestic, Sexual Violence Victims

On the 28th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced $224.9 million in grants to enhance victim services and justice solutions for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

“For nearly three decades, VAWA has enabled the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women to provide essential support to help empower survivors, hold offenders accountable and keep communities safe,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

“The grants we are announcing today represent the Department’s renewed commitment to working alongside our partners across the country — victim services providers, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts and community-based organizations — to meet the crisis of gender-based violence with the urgency it demands.”

The grants include:

    •  $140,466,152 awarded across all 50 states and six territories under the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants to develop and strengthen the criminal justice system’s response to violence against women and to enhance direct services for survivors.
    • Seventy-three grants totaling $36,195,932 will provide housing and related services to survivors and their children under the Transitional Housing Program, addressing economic stability central to ending violence.
    • The Office of Violence Against Women’s Rural Program received $33,404,213 to support 44 projects designed to prevent and respond to these crimes in rural areas and promote safety and healing for survivors.
    • $14,887,922 was granted under the State and Territory Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Program to address the crimes on a state and local level.

“The grants represent the Justice Department’s commitment to furthering the progress VAWA has achieved over the last three decades,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.

“They help ensure that survivors who come forward to report abuse are met with competent and compassionate professionals who have the resources, training and institutional support to do their jobs.”

VAWA, introduced in 1994, provided $1.6 billion for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil suits when prosecutors chose not to prosecute cases.

Congress reauthorized the law several times, most recently in 2019.

“In communities throughout the country, VAWA has literally opened doors for millions of individuals and families who have suffered violence and needed somewhere safe to go,” said OVW Acting Director Allison Randall in the press release.

“The grants issued today help keep those doors open and create new pathways to a life free of violence through innovative interventions that keep in step with the dynamic needs of survivors, especially for survivors from rural communities and historically underserved populations.”

This summary was prepared by TCR Associate Editor James Van Bramer.


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