DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDS FUNDING TO SUPPORT AMERICAN
VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABROAD
The Office for Victims of Crime Highlights Domestic Violence Assistance Efforts
in Recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in the Department of Justice's Office for Justice Programs, plans to award up to $750,000 over three years, in funding dedicated to helping American victims of domestic violence overseas. This is the first year OVC awarded the funding.
The funding will be awarded to the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center which will serve as a demonstration site to provide comprehensive services to American citizens who are victimized by domestic violence while living abroad, including on military bases. The project will identify promising practices and lessons learned, and will publish a series of bulletins for the victim services community. The organization was awarded the initial $250,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.
"Domestic violence is the most common crime for which victims in the U.S. seek assistance through the Crime Victims Fund," explained Joye Frost Acting Director for OVC, which administers the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund. "Serving U.S. victims abroad has been an emerging challenge for those working in the field of victim services and OVC is pleased to help address this unmet victim need."
In FY 2010 OVC also awarded over $610 million through the VOCA Crime Victims Fund to support state victim assistance and compensation programs that provide critical services for all types of crime victims including victims of domestic violence. In FY 2007 and 2008, over 3.6 million domestic violence victims were served by VOCA-funded assistance programs, accounting for close to half (46 percent) of all victims served by VOCA-funded assistance programs.
OVC administers the VOCA formula funding to the states, the District of Columbia, and territories, which awards the funding to over 5,000 victim service programs operating at the state and local levels. Domestic violence is one of OVC's priority areas, requiring that states and territories allocate a minimum of 10 percent of their VOCA assistance funds to serving victims of domestic violence, as well as sexual assault and child abuse. Domestic violence victims can receive compensation for medical and dental care, lost wages/support, mental health services, and other expenses. The Crime Victims Fund also supports emergency shelters, transportation, and counseling, and supports units in law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, hospitals, and social service agencies.
Additionally, as part of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood initiative, in FY 2010, OVC awarded nearly $2.5 million in funding to address children exposed to violence. "The Department is committed to addressing the needs of victims of domestic violence with additional attention focused on the needs of children who witness violence," continued OVC Acting Director Frost. The OVC awards contribute to the Defending Childhood initiative by raising awareness within underserved populations about the needs of children exposed to violence and enhancing their knowledge about crime victims' rights and access to crime victims' services and resources.
For more information on the Attorney General's Defending Childhood initiative, including the grant awards, visit: http://www.justice.gov/ag/defendingchildhood/.
The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center can be reached internationally and toll-free from 175 countries. For assistance please call 866-USWOMEN (879-6636). Additional information can be found at: http://www.866uswomen.org/Default.aspx.
An Online Directory of Crime Victim Services, designed to help locate non-emergency crime victim service agencies on a state-by-state basis is available at: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/findvictimservices/.
OVC also provides training and technical assistance and publications to victim service providers nationwide and overseas. More information about OVC and its support for crime victims can be found at www.ovc.gov/.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has seven bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.