FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VAWO
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2001 202/307-0703
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS KANSAS $1.3 MILLION
TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
WASHINGTON, DC - Attorney General Ashcroft announced today that the Justice Department is awarding $1.3 million to Kansas 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 Kansas over $7.9 million in STOP funds since 1995, for total funding exceeding $10.1 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 Kansas has used its STOP funds to develop a coordinated approach to violence against women. Current project priorities include:
· Providing training to law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and advocates on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking;
· Developing, installing and expanding data collection and communication systems to not only link law enforcement agencies, prosecutors offices and courts but to also to identify and track arrests, protection orders, violation of protection orders, prosecutions and convictions for violent crimes against women; and
· Maintaining a statewide toll-free crisis line.
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 Kansas STOP grant contact Juliene A. Maska, in the Office of the State Attorney General, at 785/296-2215. 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