FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VAWO
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2001 202/307-0703
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS GUAM $644,000
TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WASHINGTON, DC - Attorney General Ashcroft announced today that the Justice Department is awarding $644,000 to Guam 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 Guam over $3.18 million in STOP funds since 1995, for total funding exceeding $3.25 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 Territory of Guam has used its STOP funds to focus on partnership building aimed at sustaining projects that promote an expansive network of organizations that address issues of violence against women.
Current project priorities include:
· Identifying and assessing community needs in the area of domestic violence;
· Developing and implementing inter-and intra-departmental or agency policy and protocol on violence against women;
· Providing intensive training to law enforcement officers on responding to sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking cases;
· Developing and establishing a community resource, referral and visitation center to disseminate educational information and materials throughout the territory;
· Implementing aggressive pro-arrest policies; and
· Developing, establishing and evaluating prevention and treatment programs for the community at large and for target groups.
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 Guam STOP grant contact Cecila A. Q. Morrison, in the Office of the Governor, at 671/475-9162. 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 OJP’s Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 800/851-3420.
After hours contact: Angela Harless on 202/616-3266 or pager #888/763-8943