JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS MARYLAND $2.1 MILLION TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Contact: Violence Against Women Office, 202-307-0703
or after-hours contact Angela Harless, 202-616-3266
or (number)888-763-8943 (pager)
WASHINGTON, July 18 -- Attorney General Ashcroft
announced today that the Justice Department is awarding $2.1
million to Maryland 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 Maryland over $12.7 million
in STOP funds since 1995, for total funding exceeding $32.2 million
under the VAWA grant programs since the enactment of 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
The State of Maryland has used its' 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:
--Placing a greater emphasis on the development of preferred or
mandatory arrest policies and pro-prosecutorial initiatives with
criminal justice agencies throughout the state;
--Supporting in collaboration with the statewide coalitions, the
development of training curricula and the provision of training for
criminal justice professionals;
--Developing "model" policies for initial law enforcement
response to domestic violence and sexual violence crimes;
--Supporting Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Training for
medical personnel, law enforcement, advocates and others;
--Providing law enforcement officers easier access to expanded
data bases of domestic violence-related data; and
--Responding to requests for greater intervention through the
provision of direct services, advocacy, intervention and protection
of domestic violence and sexual assault victims within the State.
With the 2001 funding, the State of Maryland plans to continue
identifying emerging needs and gaps in services within the state
and improving its efforts for responding 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, five percent to courts and 15 percent
at the state's discretion for other STOP program purposes.
For information about the Maryland STOP grant contact Denise
McCain, in the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention,
at 410-321-3521. Information about the STOP program and other
initiatives involving violence against women issues is available on
VAWO's Website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo or OJP's website at
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal
Justice Reference Service toll-free at 800-851-3420.