FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEVAWGO
FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 1997202/307-0703

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS $5.6 MILLION TO COMBAT

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE IN RURAL AREAS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twenty-six jurisdictions in 22 states will receive just over $5.6 million to combat domestic violence and child abuse in rural areas, the Justice Department announced today. The grants were authorized by the Violence Against Women Act, passed as part of President Clinton's 1994 Crime Control Act.

"Abused women and children in rural areas face special problems because of their distance from shelters and services," said Bonnie Campbell, Director of the Violence Against Women Office. "Coming from a rural state, I'm pleased to see a grant program that focuses on the unique needs of rural communities when addressing domestic violence and child abuse," said Campbell, the former Attorney General of Iowa.

Rural areas continue to have problems responding to the needs of domestic violence and child abuse victims. In Maine, the residents of 25 largely rural towns identified violence as their number one concern, with 40 percent wanting more services for domestic violence. In rural Michigan, there is only one domestic violence shelter to cover multiple counties.

"Many victims are very isolated in rural areas and may not be able to receive the services they need," said OJP Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "They may have no telephones and no one may see them for days unless they make a trip into town. These funds will allow rural communities to work together to build the support these women and children need."

This is the second year that the Justice Department has awarded these grants to encourage law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, victims services providers, clergy and business leaders of state, local and tribal governments in rural areas to collaborate to provide a coordinated, community response to domestic violence and child abuse.

Grantees will use the Justice Department funds to: develop educational campaigns to raise public awareness about domestic violence and child abuse; provide counseling, advocacy and safe transportation to shelter for victims; improve the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and child abuse cases; develop communications and information tracking systems to provide information to police officers who are often the first responders in such cases; and train health care providers, teachers and clergy to identify families that need intervention.

The Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grants are administered by the Office of Justice Programs' Violence Against Women Grants Office. Largely rural states, rural communities in rural and non-rural states, public-private alliances and Native American tribes will receive grants ranging from $22,000 to $534,000 under the FY 1997 discretionary grants program.

Attached is a list of the FY 1997 Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement grants. These programs were selected as part of a national competition.

To learn more about other violence against women efforts, visit the Violence Against Women Office World Wide Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/vawo or the OJP home page at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.

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VAW97014

After hours contact: Linda Mansour, 202/516-6800

OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS

RURAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD VICTIMIZATION ENFORCEMENT

GRANT AWARDEES

FY 1997

STATE

JURISDICTION

AWARD AMOUNT

ALASKA

Alaska Legal Services Corporation

$100,000

ARIZONA

State of Arizona - Division for Women

$389,734

Navajo Nation

$150,000

ARKANSAS

Crisis Center for Battered Women

$71,350

CALIFORNIA

Inter-Tribal Council of California, Inc.

$152,738

State of California - Office of Criminal Justice Planning

$534,000

COLORADO

City of Woodland Park and County of Teller

$261,398

FLORIDA

State of Florida - Governor's Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence

$285,805

HAWAII

State of Hawaii - Department of the Attorney General

$302,407

IDAHO

Idaho Migrant Council, Inc.

$100,000

IOWA

Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Aid Center

$375,375

KENTUCKY

Kentucky Justice Cabinet

$100,000

MAINE

Maine Department of Human Services

$220,600

Kennebec Valley Medical Center

$100,000

MICHIGAN

Michigan Family Independence Agency

$368,312

MISSISSIPPI

State of Mississippi - Division of Public Safety and Planning

$288,468

MONTANA

City of Bozeman

$100,000

NEVADA

Mineral County Sheriff's Department

$117,553

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State of New Hampshire - Department of Justice

$325,334

NEW MEXICO

Torrance County

$254,223

OREGON

Reedsport Task Force on Alcohol, Drugs, and Youth

$91,780

Josephine County

$100,000

SOUTH DAKOTA

Cheyenne River Sioux Nation

$224,936

TEXAS

State of Texas - Office of the Governor

$381,549

VERMONT

Franklin County Sheriff's Department

$199,903

WYOMING

Teton County Task Force

$22,000

TOTAL

$5,617,465

(March 1997)