|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||VAWO||OCTOBER 2000||202/307-0703|
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS OVER $131 MILLION TO STATES TO ADDRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WASHINGTON, DC - All 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories have been awarded a total of $131.6 million to improve law enforcement, prosecution and victim service responses to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, the Justice Department announced today. The STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants, authorized under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), encourage partnerships among law enforcement, prosecution, the courts, victim advocates and service providers to ensure domestic violence victims' safety and accountability for offenders.
"The Administration's Violence Against Women Act and its funding has led to changes in attitude and action across the country. Communities are now coming together to prevent and respond to domestic violence," said Bonnie Campbell, Director of the Violence Against Women Office. "The grants have been extremely important in providing funding for law enforcement, prosecution, courts and victim service providers to apprehend and prosecute batterers and counsel victims."
The Justice Department has awarded over $681 million in STOP funds since the first grants were awarded in 1995, and over $1.6 billion under the Violence Against Women Act grant programs since enactment of the legislation in 1994.
STOP funds may be used to train law enforcement officers and prosecutors to more effectively identify and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, and to develop domestic violence units in police departments and prosecutors offices. Communications systems, including computerized systems that link police, prosecutors and courts to identify and track arrests, protection orders, prosecutions and convictions of offenders, can also be developed with these funds.
STOP funds can also be used to strengthen victim service programs, provide domestic violence advocates in court and strengthen programs addressing stalking and the needs of Indian tribes in addressing violent crimes against women.
"This program encourages cooperation among all those who come into regular contact with victims," added Bonnie Campbell. "We are giving police officers, prosecutors, victim advocates and others the resources they need to do a better job of investigating, prosecuting and preventing these crimes, providing services to victims and keeping victims safe."
VAWO awards the STOP grants to state agencies designated by the governor. States are required to award 25 percent of the funds they receive to law enforcement, 25 to prosecution and 25 percent to victim services programs. The remaining 25 percent of the funding may be allocated at the state's discretion for the other STOP program purposes.
Each state receives a minimum of $500,000 and additional funds based on population. A list of FY 2000 STOP state grant awards is attached. More information about the STOP program and other violence against women efforts is available on VAWO's Web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo or OJP's Web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 800/851-3420.
After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS
FY 2000 STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN FORMULA GRANTS
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||$699,000|
|NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS||$176,220|