THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1999202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Women and children affected by domestic violence in 53 rural jurisdictions in 26 states will receive improved services as the result of more than $15.7 million in grants announced today by the Justice Department. The Department's Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) provides these funds to rural communities to improve the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and child abuse cases and increase victims' access to treatment and counseling.

"It can be very difficult for abused women and their children to gain ready access to safe shelter, treatment and counseling in rural areas," said Attorney General Reno. "These funds will help police officers, prosecutors and victim advocates provide timely and improved services for rural victims."

"These funds are allowing us to encourage cooperative efforts to develop comprehensive strategies that draw on rural jurisdictions' unique characteristics," added Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which includes VAWO. "While there is much about life in a rural community that makes service delivery difficult, there is also much in the traditions of rural America where community support is strong in times of need."

This year, VAWO is awarding funds to 53 new grantees under the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program. In addition, VAWO awarded almost $5 million in funding to 15 jurisdictions to continue projects begun with Fiscal Year 1996, 1997 and 1998 grant funds, which brings the total to approximately $20 million.

"As I travel throughout the country, I am struck by the difference these funds are making in the lives of so many abused women and children," said Bonnie Campbell, VAWO Director. "Rural communities from coast to coast are coming together in new ways to address domestic violence and child victimization."

In Minnesota, 76 primarily rural counties and 11 tribal governments will use these funds to form local, multidisciplinary teams to respond to families with both domestic violence and child abuse. Similarly, the State of Louisiana will support domestic violence services and establish coordinated community response teams, including law enforcement officers, victim advocates, medical personnel, child welfare workers and clergy, in five rural parishes, Rural program funds will be used by Northern New Mexico Legal Services in Santa Fe to establish a state program of pro bono lawyers and domestic violence advocates to provide legal services and referrals. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan will offer more services to victims, including emergency financial assistance and transportation and programs for children who witness violence.

Funds will be used to establish a supervised visitation center for offending and non-offending parents and their children in Gafton County, NH. In Reno, Nevada, funds will be used to develop and implement a statewide court monitoring project, which will gather and evaluate data on the prosecution and adjudication of domestic violence cases. In Montana's Yellowstone, Richland and Lake Counties, funds will be used to provide services to migrant and seasonal farmworker women.

Congress appropriated $25 million for this year's rural program. Local jurisdictions within 19 rural states (as defined in the law: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.) are eligible to apply directly for funding. If a state is classified as non-rural, the state is eligible to apply on behalf of its rural jurisdictions.

Attached is a list of the specific new grant awards. More information about the rural program and other violence against women efforts can be found at VAWO's Website at or OJP's Website at, or call the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 1-800/851-3420.



After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 202/516-6843





ALASKA Juneau Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault


Kodiak Kodiak Area Native Association


Sitka Sitka Tribe of Alaska


ARKANSAS Jasper Harmony House


ARIZONA Phoenix Arizona Justice Institute


Bisbee Cochise County Adult Probation


Chinle Home for Women and Children


Prescott Prevent Child Abuse, Inc.


CALIFORNIA Redwood Valley Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians


COLORADO Durango Violence Prevention Coalition of Southwest Colorado


DELAWARE Wilmington Delaware Criminal Justice Council


FLORIDA Tallahassee Florida Department of Community Affairs


HAWAII Honolulu Department of the Attorney General


IOWA Mount Ayr Ringgold County Coalition Against Domestic Violence


LOUISIANA Baton Rouge Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement


MICHIGAN Sault Ste. Marie Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians


MINNESOTA St. Paul Minnesota Department of Public Safety


MONTANA Helena Rural Employment Opportunities


Hamilton Supporters of Abuse Free Environment


Glasgow Women's Resource Center of Glasgow


NEBRASKA Columbus Center for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors


NEVADA Reno Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence


NEW HAMPSHIRE Concord New Hampshire Department of Justice


NEW MEXICO Albuquerque New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence


NEW MEXICO Chama North Central Community-Based Services


Santa Fe Northern New Mexico Legal Services, Inc.


NORTH DAKOTA Trenton Trenton Indian Service Area


Belcourt Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians


OKLAHOMA Ada Chicksaw Nation


McAlester District Attorney of Pittsburg and Haskell Counties


Tulsa Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.


Tahlequah Help-In-Crisis, Inc.


Holdenville Hughes County Commissioners


Enid YWCA of Enid


OREGON Burns Burns Paiute Tribe


St. Helens Columbia County


Newport Crossroads - Lincoln County Community Nonviolence Program


Bend Deschutes County District Attorney


OREGON Pendleton Domestic Violence Services


Heppner Morrow County


Ontario Project DOVE


Florence Siuslaw Area Women's Center


PUERTO RICO San Juan Commission for Women's Affairs


SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia South Carolina Department of Social Services


UTAH West Valley City West Valley City


Ogden Your Community Connection


WASHINGTON Usk Kalispel Tribe of Indians


Bellingham Lummi Nation


Shelton South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency


Wellpinit Spokane Tribe of Indians


WISCONSIN Hertel St. Croix Indians of Wisconsin


Madison Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance


WYOMING Douglas Converse County Coalition Against Family Violence






September 1999