Contact: U.S. Justice Department Violence Against

          Women Office, 202-307-0703


   WASHINGTON, July 18 --  Attorney General Ashcroft

announced today that the Justice Department is awarding

$819,000 to Delaware to prevent and respond to violence against

women, as part of this year's STOP (Services, Training, Officers

and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program.

This program is funded under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).


   "No American should feel outside the protection of the law, or

beyond the reach of the law.  The STOP program supports communities

that champion victims' rights and develops coordinated responses to

violence against women" said Attorney General Ashcroft.  "The funds

will give law enforcement and victim services the resources they

need to do a better job of investigating, prosecuting and

preventing crimes against women.  We must continue to provide our

communities with the resources to hold offenders accountable and to

meet the needs of victims."


   STOP funds are used to promote partnerships among law

enforcement, prosecution, the courts and victim advocates to ensure

victim safety and accountability for offenders.


   The Justice Department has awarded Delaware over $4.3 million in

STOP funds since 1995, for total funding exceeding $6.4 million

under the VAWA grant programs since the enactment of the VAWA

legislation in 1994.  In the President's FY 2002 budget request,

the Justice Department seeks $390 million in overall VAWA funding,

a $102.52 million increase over FY 2001.


   Through this funding, states and communities are urged to

restructure and strengthen the criminal justice system response to

domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, utilizing the

expertise of all participants working in the system, including

victim advocates.


   The State of Delaware has used STOP funds to address the gaps

identified within the state that are impediments to victims of

domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking in either

accessing the criminal justice system or receiving services

available to them.


   Current project priorities include:


   -- Supporting two prosecutors and the implementation of vertical

prosecution in domestic violence and sexual assault cases;

   -- Providing statewide training for law enforcement personnel on

advanced issues relating to domestic violence;

   -- Creating domestic violence victim advocate/specialist

positions in several municipal law enforcement agencies, and

   -- Funding for staff and services in several victim services

organizations around the state.


   The State of Delaware has also used STOP funds to enhance domestic

violence victim services to Latino women in rural Delaware and to

support a program to enhance services to elderly victims of

domestic violence and sexual assault.  The State plans to continue

its support of local and statewide initiatives to effectively

strengthen the criminal justice system and enhance its response to

victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


   The STOP Program is authorized under the Violence Against Women

Acts of 1994 and 2000.  The STOP grants are awarded by the Office

of Justice Programs' (OJP) Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) to

designated state agencies, which must award 25 percent of the funds

they receive to law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, 30

percent to victim services, 5 percent to courts and 15 percent at

the state's discretion for other STOP program purposes.


   For information about the Delaware STOP grant contact Maureen

Querey, with the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, at 302

577-5025.  Information about the STOP program and other initiatives

involving violence against women issues is available on VAWO's

Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo or QJP's Website at

www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal Justice

Reference Service toll-free at 800/851-3420.