FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VAWO
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2001 202/307-0703
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS NEW YORK $5.8 MILLION
TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WASHINGTON, DC - The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced today that it is awarding $5,887,000 to the State of New York 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 OJP’s Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. “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 New York over $38 million in STOP funds
since 1995, for total funding exceeding $69 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 New York has undertaken numerous measures to combat violence against women, from teens involved in dating violence to older citizens overcoming elder abuse.
Local programs have used funding to:
· Develop Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) units;
· Provide extensive training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors who
respond to sexual assault cases;
· Establish specialized stalking units within police departments;
· Develop interstate enforcement of protection order protocols;
· Fund court advocates and survivor advocates to work with law enforcement,
prosecution and the courts;
· Establish rapid response teams; and
· Coordinate local conferences, workshops and training.
In addition, New York has developed statewide partnerships to enact a stronger mandatory arrest law for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes, to reinforce the role of a coordinated community response and to implement special courts through New York’s Unified Court System.
The STOP Program is authorized under the Violence Against Women Acts of 1994 and 2000. The STOP grants are awarded by the OJP’s Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) to designated state agencies, which must award at least 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 New York STOP grant, contact Margaret Chretien, Program
Director, in the New York State Division of Criminal Justice, at 514/485-7923. Information about the STOP program and other initiatives involving violence against women 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 1-800/851-3420.
After hours contact: Angela Harless on 202/616-3266 or pager #888/763-8943