The mission of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Family Violence Working Group is to provide a prominent OJP focus on violent crime within the family and among intimates by promoting improved intra-agency and interagency information exchange, coordinated planning, and collaborative projects. This mission is guided by legislation authorizing the work of the OJP bureaus and offices and by legislation concerning family violence.

The OJP Working Group on Family Violence was established by the Assistant Attorney General in November 1993 and is currently comprised of representatives from seven OJP bureaus and offices: the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO); and the Violence Against Women Office (VAWO). The Working Group on Family Violence is chaired jointly by Bernie Auchter of the National Institute of Justice and Kathy Schwartz of the Violence Against Women Grants Office. Other members of the Working Group include Cheri Crawford, Angela Moore Parmley, Cynthia Nahabedian, Lois Mock, and Richard Titus from NIJ; Marti Speights, Olga Trujillo and Judy Bonderman from OVC; Sharie Cantelon and Robin Delaney-Shabazz from OJJDP; Diane Craven from BJS; Jennifer Knobe from BJA; Preet Kang and Kim Cross from VAWGO; Sarah Connell from the VAWO; and Meg Morrow, Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of OJP.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 has provided additional impetus to the Family Violence Working Group's emphasis on spouse and partner abuse, and its programs to address rural domestic violence and child abuse enforcement, and encourage arrest policies in domestic violence cases have provided new opportunities for the group's activities. The Act is directed toward a variety of criminal justice problems including domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It responds to the needs of millions of women who are the victims of violence each year. The Violence Against Women Act also responds to the need for fundamental changes in addressing violence against women, and it responds to the special needs of women in minority and Indian communities who are violently victimized. It provides for a comprehensive approach to fighting all forms of violence against women through a broad array of legal and practical reforms.

To implement the Act, the Department of Justice established the Violence Against Women Office under the Associate Attorney General and the Violence Against Women Grants Office within the Office of Justice Programs. Bonnie Campbell is the Director of the Violence Against Women Office which is dedicated to carrying out the vision of the Violence Against Women Act by encouraging coordination and cooperation among the various justice and service agencies at all levels of government. The Office is also working to transform public attitudes toward these crimes and dispel the notion that these acts of violence against women are private disputes not fit for public scrutiny or legal judgement.

Chapter 2 under Subtitle A of VAWA is a major effort to provide support to the States and Indian tribal governments for criminal justice responses and victim assistance efforts. It is being implemented by the Violence Against Women Grants Office which is administered by Kathy Schwartz. Details of the program are presented under the section on the Violence Against Women Grants Office. These VAWA grants are intended to establish on-going interventions that promote and increase an effective criminal justice system response to violence against women, and to increase the range of services for the victims of such violence.

The goals of the working group are to:

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