Bureau of Justice Assitance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Violence Against Women Grants Office

STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants

To carry out its mandate, VAWGO is implementing the formula grant program known as STOP (ServicesTrainingOfficersProsecutors) Violence Against Women, which encourages states and territories to adopt coordinated, multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Predicated on the belief that no one entity can solve the problem alone, the STOP program promotes integrated strategies that seek to unite law enforcement, prosecution, the judiciary, probation/parole, and victim advocates and service agencies in their efforts to fight violence against women. This unified approach envisions the creation of a seamless web of support for women who have sought the protection of the criminal justice system, as well as outreach to potential victims of domestic violence.

Programs funded through STOP grants must meet one or more of the following broad purposes:

1) training law enforcement officers and prosecutors to more effectively identify and respond to violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence;

2) developing, training, or expanding specialized units of law enforcement officers and prosecutors targeting violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence;

3) developing and implementing more effective police and prosecution policies, protocols, orders, and services specifically dedicated to preventing, identifying, and responding to violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence;

4) developing, installing, or expanding data collection and communication systems, including computerized systems that link police, prosecutors, and courts or that are designed to identify and track arrests, protection orders, violations of protection orders, prosecutions, and convictions for violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence;

5) developing, enlarging, or strengthening victim service programs, including sexual assault and domestic violence programs to previously underserved populations, such as minorities and disabled women;

6) developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs addressing stalking; and

7) developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs addressing the needs and circumstances of Indian tribes focusing on violent crimes against women, including sexual assault and domestic violence.

Each STOP grantee must allocate 25 percent of its funds to law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, and 25 percent to non-profit, non-governmental victim services, with the remainder to be distributed at the grantee's discretion, within the established guidelines.

In FY 1995, the STOP program was allocated $26 million. VAWGO awarded 56 STOP grants to states and territories which in turn awarded more than 650 subgrants. Reflecting the diversity of needs around the country, States awarded STOP subgrants to support programs ranging from those seeking to enhance victim services to those attempting to improve supervision of perpetrators of violence against women. Communities served range from rural Wyoming to New York City; from children who witness domestic violence to senior citizens who are victims of domestic violence; and from students to farm workers. Some of the recipients of the FY 1995 STOP program funds include:

Congress appropriated $130 million for the STOP Program in FY 1996 and $145 million in FY 1997. Consistent with the objectives established in the first year of the program, STOP grant recipients were encouraged in FY 1996 and FY 1997 to build on the foundation laid with previous years' investments by continuing their coordinated, multi-disciplinary response system; to strengthen programs enforcing protection orders both within and among states; and to increase the number and types of services and criminal justice programs supported with STOP funds, including judicial education and court-related projects. The FY 1996 STOP grants were awarded in August and September 1996, while the FY 1997 STOP grants were awarded in November 1996. Subgrantees for FY '96 funds include:

Working in partnership with the states, VAWGO will continue to support efforts to eliminate all crimes of violence against women. Through the STOP Violence Against Women Grants Program, VAWGO is committed to building and strengthening the response of communities around the country to ensuring the personal safety of women and to holding perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking accountable for their actions.

STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Grants

The Violence Against Women Act mandates that 4 percent of the amount budgeted each year for the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program be awarded to Indian tribal governments. In FY 1995, the STOP Violence Against Indian Women (VAIW) Discretionary Grant Program awarded nearly $1 million to 11 tribal governments and 3 consortia representing 35 villages, 9 pueblos, and 5 tribes, while in FY 1996 the program funded 68 grants totaling $5.2 million. In FY 1997, $5.8 million has been budgeted for this program. Grant funds may be used for the same broad purposes as outlined above for the formula program.

Similar to the STOP formula grant program, the VAIW Discretionary Grant program seeks to reduce and prevent violence against Indian women by encouraging tribal governments to design and carry out innovative, effective approaches that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of Native American women. Grantees are required to implement a coordinated and integrated program developed in collaboration with the various offices of the tribal justice system and non-profit, non-governmental victim service providers, or women in the community if no non-profits exist in the jurisdiction. Victim services providers and Indian women from the community must be an integral part of not only the planning process but also the implementation phase.

For instance, with its STOP VAIW grant funds, the Osage Nation in Oklahoma has developed written policies and procedures on domestic violence for law enforcement officers; the prosecutor and courts are establishing a more specific domestic violence code; the Osage Nation Counseling Center hired a domestic violence/sexual assault counselor who is available during non-business hours; and the Counseling Center and the tribal court are collaborating to set up a treatment group for offenders. In addition, as part of a coordinated response to violence against Indian women, a community coalition consisting of health care providers, victims, law enforcement personnel, victim service providers, and Indian women has been established to explore prevention strategies and collaborate on implementing the strategies identified as most promising for the Nation.

Similarly, the Oglala Sioux Tribe received a VAIW grant to strengthen its existing efforts to reduce and prevent violence against Lakota women. Grant funds are being used to train representatives of various tribal agencies, including mental health and alcoholism programs. The Tribe has developed a model domestic violence code to be shared with other tribes across the country.

STOP VAIW resources are helping to support a cadre of committed individuals who, through their activities, are raising awareness of domestic violence concerns and seeking to create a climate of support for addressing this issue within the various Indian nations. The Osage Nation's Chief of Police now provides training on police policies and procedures concerning domestic violence to other Indian nations. Similarly, the director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe's domestic violence prevention project is training colleagues from other tribes on the provision of appropriate services to victims of domestic violence. These activities and resource investments have led to a significant change in the level of the tribal justice system's commitment to tackling domestic violence.

The FY '96 STOP VAIW grants are continuing to build on the gains achieved with the previous year's funds, as well as expanding the tribal justice system's response to domestic violence. Besides renewing the 14 STOP VAIW grants awarded in FY '95, an additional 54 tribal grantees received funds in FY '96, bringing the total number to 68 for fiscal 1996. With these funds, the programs are enhancing shelter services and hiring law enforcement officers and prosecutors, who specialize in domestic violence cases. The deadline for submission of grant applications for FY '97 funds is April 15, 1997, for renewals and April 30, 1997, for new applicants.

To further support tribal efforts, VAWGO is making available $1 million for the Tribal Courts Development Project. It is a series of initiatives designed to strengthen the tribal courts' adjudication of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse cases. Under one of the initiatives, two tribal governments will receive a total of $365,000 to create family courts to improve the coordination and handling of cases involving children and families. The family court will have jurisdiction over marital cases, custody matters, adult criminal proceedings involving family violence, and juvenile delinquency and dependency cases. A special division of the courts will manage domestic violence cases.

As part of its effort to support culturally-appropriate judicial responses, this Project is providing funds to convene a focus group to develop traditional approaches to preventing and reducing domestic violence and using alternative sentencing when appropriate. The focus group will define standards for determining which cases are appropriate for traditional adjudication and identify promising practices in this area.

Under another initiative of the Tribal Courts Development Project, VAWGO is supporting the development of a domestic violence curriculum for tribal courts by a native organization. The curriculum will be tested in two regions of the country. In addition, the Project is supporting several efforts to train tribal court judges on effective judicial management of domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Over the next several years, the STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Grant program will continue to devote resources to restructuring and strengthening the Indian tribal

governments' response to the needs of Indian women who are, or could become, victims of violence.

Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies

Traditionally, police officers responding to a domestic violence incident have been reluctant to become involved, preferring to dismiss the dispute as a private, family matter to be resolved internally by the couple or through informal counseling and mediation. This hesitation by law enforcement to treat domestic violence like any other violent crime is not only in deference to social custom, but also springs from an absence of police protocols for addressing these types of situations. To fill this void, many police departments around the country began implementing policies that encourage or even mandate arrests. Currently, at least 27 States and the District of Columbia have adopted laws that encourage or mandate arrest of an individual who assaults a family member or violates a domestic violence protection order. The overarching purpose of these policies is to ensure victim safety and bring perpetrators to justice.

Mandatory arrest and pro-arrest policies, however, are only the first step in ensuring victim safety and offender accountability. To be successful interventions, arrests must be part of a coordinated and integrated response by the entire criminal justice system. Mandatory or pro-arrest policies will be effective:

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies, a new program funded for the first time in FY 1996, provide resources and support to help states, local governments, and tribal governments treat violence against women as a serious crime requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system, including police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and other court personnel to ensure the victim's safety. Congress appropriated $28 million for arrest grants in FY 1996 and $33 million in FY 1997. With the resources provided through this program, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, and the courts will collaborate with each other and with non-profit, non-governmental victims' services agencies to develop and implement programs strengthening the community response to mandatory and pro-arrest policies. Specific goals of the program are:

In December 1996, VAWGO announced 112 grants totaling more than $42 million to states, counties, and local jurisdictions to implement mandatory arrest policies and to strengthen their response to crimes of violence against women. In addition, 11 demonstration programs were funded to explore innovative approaches to combating violence against women in communities around the country. To ensure the effectiveness of arrest policies, grant funds will be used by:

Through its commitment to provide resources and attention, VAWGO is dedicated to supporting efforts by communities around the country to implement mandatory or pro-arrest policies for perpetrators of violence against women. In addition, support will also be extended to efforts devoted to implementing mandatory or pro-arrest policies for those who violate protection orders.

Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program

Although victims of domestic violence face considerable challenges regardless of where they live, residents of rural communities confront added obstacles: fewer law enforcement resources, a shortage of victim services, lack of privacy in tight-knit communities, geographic isolation, cultural pressures to keep family matters private, and an inability to keep locations of shelters confidential. Unfortunately, few statistics are available about the extent of domestic violence and child abuse in rural communities. What little is known is based only on those who have successfully contacted authorities or service providers. While the added barriers are likely to discourage victims from reporting abuse, there is no reason to believe that these problems are more or less prevalent there than in other areas of the country. Increasingly, rural areas have become popular destinations among immigrant communities, whose isolation may be compounded further by cultural and language barriers.

In response to the unique characteristics of rural communities and the additional hurdles faced by victims living in these areas, the Violence Against Women Act authorized the creation of the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program to address the needs of rural women and children. This program attempts to improve and increase services available to rural women and children by encouraging community involvement in developing a coordinated response to domestic violence and child abuse. As in other areas of the country, police, prosecutors, judges, non-profit, non-governmental victim service agencies, and community organizations in rural jurisdictions are required to collaborate in the development and implementation of programs designed to reduce and prevent violence against rural women and children.

The Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program seeks to:

Rural grants were awarded for the first time in FY 1996 to support domestic violence and child victimization programs in 20 rural communities. The grantees received their awards in September 1996, with programs expected to begin in January 1997. The rural grants program is supporting efforts by:

Continuing its commitment to victims of violence in rural areas, VAWGO will be awarding the FY 1997 Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grants shortly. Congress appropriated $8 million for this grant program for FY 1997.

Training and Technical Assistance Grants

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the programs it administers, the Violence Against Women Grants Office is awarding cooperative agreements to a number of expert organizations specializing in training and technical assistance on various aspects of violence against women. These resources enable police officers, prosecutors, judges, victim assistance providers, and others involved in reducing and preventing violence against women to receive training, education, and support to help strengthen their responses to domestic violence. Funds have been awarded to:

In addition, VAWGO provided training and technical assistance to Byrne Grant administrators who also administer STOP grants during the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) regional conferences beginning in late August.

IV. Anticipated Plans

Pending Congressional approval of VAWA funding, over the next several years, VAWGO will continue to support states as they transform the criminal justice system's response to crimes of violence against women. Through its various grant programs, VAWGO is committed to devoting the resources and attention needed to continue to fuel the momentum generated by VAWA and help ensure women's personal safety both within and outside their homes.


I. Legislative Mandate

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the Edward Byrne State and Local Assistance Program, which was established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and re-authorized by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The Byrne program consists of a Discretionary and a Formula Grant Program. The Discretionary Program is designed to determine what is most effective in criminal justice and drug control, to disseminate that information to State and local agencies, and to assist in the replication of effective programs and practices. The Formula Grant Program provides States with funds that are distributed to State and local criminal justice agencies to implement each State's drug control and violent crime strategy. These funds can be used to replicate effective demonstration proposals. Family violence is one of twenty-six purpose areas in the State and local assistance program.

The mission for the Bureau of Justice Assistance is to provide leadership and assistance in support of local criminal justice strategies to achieve strong neighborhoods and safe communities. BJA's programmatic goals are: (1) to promote effective innovative crime control and prevention strategies; (2) to demonstrate and promote replication of effective crime control programs that support public-private partnerships, planning and criminal justice system improvement; and (3) to leverage and efficiently administer available resources. BJA also develops and tests new approaches in criminal justice and crime control and encourages replication of effective programs and practices by State and local agencies.

II. Background

Following the Attorney General's Task Force on Family Violence in 1984, which advocated criminal intervention and prosecution in appropriate cases, BJA funded a series of local demonstration programs between 1986 and 1990, primarily in prosecutors' offices, showing that the criminal justice system can successfully prosecute, convict, and sentence abusers. These programs have also determined that cooperation between criminal justice systems and social services systems is desirable, if, early on, an approach is fostered and maintained by a coordinating body comprised of the leaders of the participating agencies.

These demonstration programs, with accompanying evaluation efforts, involved eleven spouse abuse intervention projects and seven child abuse prosecution efforts, for a total investment of over $3.5 million. They were designed to develop and document improved justice system practices for handling family violence cases. The Family Violence Program resulted in a comprehensive document entitled Family Violence: Intervention for the Justice Systems. This publication is a valuable source of information for initiating or enhancing criminal justice intervention and treatment efforts in a jurisdiction.

III. Current Programs

Discretionary Grant Program

The FY96 discretionary grant program includes several projects:

Violence Against Women--Demonstration Sites. Originally awarded prior to the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, in FY94 three demonstrations sites were identified for their progressive efforts in establishing a prototype to enhance and coordinate jurisdiction-wide responses to issues concerning violence against women. Currently, this effort is completing FY95 project activities identifying mechanisms and procedures which affect the jurisdiction-wide coordination of criminal justice agencies, victim services, social services, medical services and others, as appropriate, to ensure that a jurisdiction's issues and problems concerning violence against women are handled effectively. There is a city-wide program in Baltimore, Maryland; a county-wide program in Santa Clara, California; and a statewide program through the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Two of the three pilot programs have received new FY96/97 sources of funding through the Violence Against Women STOP grant and VAWGO discretionary programs.

Violence Against Women--Training and Technical Assistance. The American Prosecutors' Research Institute, in cooperation with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges act as resource centers for the three violence against women coordinating councils. Both professional organizations provide technical assistance to support implementation of critical elements that outline the tasks and responsibilities of the coordinating councils in the demonstration sites. The scope of the technical assistance includes practitioners in the criminal and civil courts as well as those working in related areas such as social services, mental health, battered women's shelters, victim advocacy, and barterer and substance abuse treatment.

Non-Traditional Law Enforcement Responses to Minority and Low Income Families. This training program is designed for and presented to law enforcement executives and policy-makers on how police can effectively deal with potentially violent domestic situations at the earliest possible point of intervention, in a home, to help resolve problems and avoid the need for a major criminal justice response at a later date. The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), in partnership with the Jefferson Institute train law enforcement personnel to recognize families in trouble, and respond using social and economic support systems accessible in the community.

Public Education Campaign to Prevent Date/Spousal Violence. The Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE) working in cooperation with Olmos Productions Inc. (0PI) are collaborating to develop, produce and distribute an original documentary and supplemental viewers guide to prevent domestic violence as it relates to teen dating violence. The film, It Ain't Love, examines domestic violence in relationships between young men and women, how such relationships are influenced by family, peers and cultural values, and examines domestic violence in young relationships within the broader context of domination and control through intimidation and violence. The distribution of this film is expected to reach a national audience of 10 million young men and women.

Formula Grant Program

BJA provides FY96 funds for many family violence programs throughout State and local jurisdictions. Funding is determined by the Statewide strategy submitted annually to BJA. These programs are diverse, including prevention, intervention, and treatment methods addressing: child abuse, elder abuse, spousal abuse, response teams, prosecution, and multi-agency cooperative efforts. The following programs are selected examples of the variety of projects supported under the FY96 Byrne formula grant program:


Domestic and Family Violence Prosecution Program. Recognizing that expeditious prosecution of perpetrators is a key element in successful handling of domestic violence cases, Hawaii County Prosecutor's Office established a vertical prosecution unit that would allow the same deputy prosecuting attorney to take the case from intake screening to court disposition. A county wide interagency task force was established as well, to address the effort of coordinating workloads of agencies involved in domestic violence to cover gaps in services and to maximize funding and other resources in training and informational resources.

Multi-Agency Family Violence Program. The objectives of this program are to respond to domestic violence incidents quickly and effectively by improving case management and patrol officer training; expedite the prosecution of domestic violence cases by creating a Domestic Violence Prosecution Team and a career criminal classification system; increase interagency cooperation by establishing a task force comprising members of law enforcement, social service, and local government agencies; and to provide treatment and support for victims by providing crisis counseling on domestic violence calls.


Victim Advocacy Project. This project provides victims of domestic violence with judicial system support to enhance victim safety and improve the responsiveness of the judicial system to the special needs of domestic violence. The advocates and trained volunteers assist victims through crisis call response, court accompaniment, completion of temporary protection order requests, police escorts to recover possessions, and the assistance of pro-bono attorneys when needed.

The Huron County Prosecutor's Office Domestic Violence Advocacy Program. The objectives of this project are two fold: (1) to establish collaboration within Huron County among the county's court advocates, human services providers, schools, the domestic violence program for Huron County and the shelters providing the continuum of services for victims of domestic violence, and (2) to conduct domestic violence awareness training for children to make them aware of domestic violence and how they can report domestic violence incidences to service providers. The long range goal of the Huron County Domestic Violence Program is

to identify children at risk of domestic violence and to build a bridge for them to use to escape from domestic violence and seek help without fear of retribution.


Domestic Violence Prosecution. The objectives of this program are to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of domestic violence prosecution in each district; form a data directory of available domestic violence services in each judicial district; conduct a training conference for Louisiana's prosecutors that will provide instruction on successfully charging and trying domestic violence cases; and to present the evaluation directory, and results of the conference to the Louisiana District Attorneys Association and Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

Tracking Drug Related Domestic Violence. Through this program 450 defendant participants will be tracked from arrest or arraignment through final court disposition and/or parole to measure recidivism for drug and family violence and evaluate successful interventions. The goals of this program are to reduce drug usage in New Orleans; reduce drug related domestic violence in New Orleans; and improve communication between New Orleans Municipal Courts and other Criminal Justice Agencies.


Massachusetts Attorney General's Elderly Protection Project. The Project provides multi-disciplinary training designed to promote collaboration between police officers and local elder protective service workers, which enhances officers' skills in reducing, reporting and responding to instances of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older citizens. Training explores the following topics: the demographics of an increasing elder population and its implications for police services; myths and facts about aging; effective communication techniques, including background on the concerns, fears, and vulnerabilities of the elderly; enhanced investigation through detailed report writing and photographs; financial exploitation in its various forms; the elder abuse reporting law and coordination with the protective services system; and understanding domestic violence and its applicability to the elderly.


Largo Domestic Violence Intervention Project. The focus of Largo's domestic violence program is to increase the prosecution rate of domestic violence cases and to relieve the victim from the burden of prosecution through enhanced evidence gathering at the scene. This would supply attorneys, judges, and abuse shelters with the most complete information in the most expeditious manner possible.


The Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center. The Mississippi Children's Advocacy Center (MCAC) was opened to provide intervention, assessment, and treatment services to child victims and their families. The goals of the MCAC are to provide a safe, child-oriented facility to serve the needs of abused children; provide intervention, assessment, and treatment by trained therapists; provide education and support to families of abused children; and improve case management.


Cascade County Attorney's Office: Campaign to Combat Child Abuse. The goal of this program is to deter further abuse through prompt prosecution of cases. Cascade County Attorney's office has hired a special prosecutor for child abuse/neglect cases. This prosecutor will work closely with the Youth Court Judge to eliminate delays and continuances in court hearings and improve overall court services to child victims. The special prosecutor will also provide training and education to members of the legal profession on child abuse/neglect, especially child sexual abuse. The project will also gather experts to speak on this topic to community gatherings such as PTA meetings. Informational handouts will be distributed as well as a video tape wherein professionals from several disciplines address child abuse/neglect issues. The video tape will be presented to groups and used as public service spots.


Cumberland County Child Abuse Investigators. This project develops and utilizes a multi-disciplinary team approach to child abuse and neglect cases. This reduces the trauma victims and families encounter by reducing the number of times a victim is interviewed. With this approach it is hoped that no child will have to be interviewed about their abuse more than twice.


Criminal Sexual Assault Investigator. The goal of the Child Sexual Abuse Special Investigator is to enhance investigation and thereby prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. The Special Investigator receives reports of child sexual abuse through an incident report, referral letter from the Department of Social Services, schools or hospitals. The investigator, who is assigned solely to sexual abuse cases, then initiates an investigation that includes interviews, medical examinations and witness statements. When appropriate, charges are filed. If the Department of Social Services is involved, the Special Investigator testifies at the DSS Family Court hearing. In the interim between preliminary hearing and general sessions, the investigator maintains contact with the child victim and addresses any needs of the victim.


Contractual Services for Advocacy for the Mentally Ill Chemical Abuser. In a collaborative effort the Domestic Violence Division and the Public Defenders office, of Nashville/Davidson County, will create a counseling service for mentally ill chemical abusers and their family members. Many domestic violence cases arise out of situations where the stress of living with a loved one who is dually-diagnosed becomes too much to handle. Frequently, the prosecutors/victims of dual diagnosis crimes are the family members. These families need assistance in relieving these pressures and bringing balance to their homes.


Training on the Use of Closed-Circuit Television and Videotape Testimony of Child Witnesses. A multi-disciplinary training conference is scheduled for prosecutors, law enforcement investigators, child protective service workers, mental health professionals, and judges. This program is designed to improve the criminal justice system's response to child abuse cases; reduce or limit additional trauma to child victims as they encounter the criminal justice process; improve the use of technology in the taking of out-of-court testimony of children; and to provide a forum to share information among states. The conference topics include current research and theory; state statutes; legal requirements; available technology, operations protocols; forensic interviewing; and a variety of workshops addressing current concerns surrounding this issue.


West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The short term goal of this project is to provide for the training and certification of six regional teams of professionals, representing law enforcement, prosecution, and victim advocacy, to assure that West Virginia has a pool of trained professionals available for response to domestic violence cases. The long term goal of the project is to connect regional law enforcement training teams and regional domestic violence response teams in on-going efforts to develop a coordinated response to domestic violence. Through this program, the curriculum, trainer manual, trainee manual, and teaching resources used in law enforcement training will be updated. In addition, training will be developed and presented that will assure participants certification and provide time for regional teams to meet and develop action plans.

BJA's publication, Domestic and Family Violence: Highlighted Programs from the State Annual Reports, outlines many of the previously supported formula grant funded family

violence programs. Publications produced from BJA's Innovative Programs working meetings are another valuable resource.

IV. Anticipated Plans

In the Spring of 1997, BJA anticipates two reports addressing domestic violence and stalking to be available. The domestic violence document examines issues of substance abuse and other factors in the context of domestic violence. The second report, a monograph highlighting multi disciplinary training, addresses the issue of stalking as it relates to domestic violence. A copy of both publications will be distributed to all the VAWGO STOP State Administrators.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance will have available a publication that discusses the policy and operational issues surrounding coordinated responses to violence against women issues in the third quarter of 1997. The implementation manual will be formatted to provide practical and relevant information to enhance communities' ability to coordinate their efforts in responding to violence against women in their local jurisdictions and society at large. This report will be disseminated to civil and criminal justice practitioners as well as those working in related services such as social services, mental health, battered women's shelters, victim advocacy groups, and batterer and substance abuse treatment. This implementation manual will be distributed to all VAWGO STOP State Administrators.

BJA will partially support a symposium on elder issues with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office. The symposium will be organized to develop a national training model and curriculum directed at education and prevention of elder abuse, neglect, mistreatment and financial exploitation of residents both in long term care facilities and in their own residence. This anticipated replication model will include a video training component as well as training curricula for health care workers surrounding victimization of the elderly and the criminal justice system.

To help tribal court judges address violent crime against children, domestic violence, and youth gang violence in Indian Country, the National Indian Justice Center will develop a training and technical assistance program tailored to the needs of American Indian communities. The project will examine the origins, dynamics and scope of violent crime in Indian Country and support tribal courts as they explore sentencing alternatives and other ways to restore health and safety to their communities.


I. Legislative Mandate

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates statistical information on crime including criminal victimization, criminal offenders, and the operations of justice systems at all levels of government and internationally. These objective data and analyses are used by key policy makers at the Federal, State, and local levels in their efforts to combat drugs and crime.

Additionally, BJS administers the National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP) which assists states in improving the quality and availability of criminal history records and improving the interface between state systems and the national criminal history record system. The program implements the requirements of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the National Child Protection Act of 1993, relevant sections of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended, and those sections of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which require that assistance (including grants and technical assistance ) be made available to the states to ensure that complete and accurate data on domestic violence and stalking are identified and included in local, state, and Federal data bases.

II. Background

The primary source of information sponsored by BJS on family violence comes from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). This survey, which began in 1973, collects data on personal and household victimizations through an ongoing national survey of residential addresses. Specifically, the survey provides measures for the following types of crimes including attempts: rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Detailed information about each victimization incident and its consequences is recorded as well as the characteristics of the offender insofar as the victim can report them. Individuals residing in selected households are interviewed every 6 months for a period of 3 years. Since individuals are asked about crimes they might have experienced during the previous six months, the survey is able to include both crimes reported to the police and those that go unreported.

Domestic violence incidents have traditionally been the most difficult to enumerate and document. Many factors inhibit women from reporting their victimizations to researchers, including the private nature of the event, the perceived stigma associated with one's victimization, the belief that no purpose will be served in reporting it, as well as fear of retaliation from the offender. Existing attitudes and stereotypes pertaining to family violence undoubtedly affect the extent to which all surveys, including the NCVS, can accurately quantify the problem.

After an extensive 10-year redesign project, the NCVS , beginning with a 1992 phase-in process, utilizes a survey instrument which more directly queries respondents about rape and other acts of violence perpetrated by intimates. The survey also queries respondents much more directly about their experiences with unwanted sexual contact, including those with intimates such as husbands, boyfriends, or other family members. Incidents are categorized into the following very specific types of sexual victimization: Completed Rape, Attempted Rape, Verbal Threat of Rape, Completed Sexual Attack (Grabbing, Fondling, etc.), Verbal Threat of Sexual Attack, and Unwanted Sexual Contact. When the survey was initially designed in the early 1970's, social and cultural constraints precluded this extent of specificity in asking questions about personal victimization.

III. Current Programs

The National Crime Victimization Survey

The 1995 NCVS sample consists of approximately 49,000 households and 100,000 persons age 12 or older; the average response rate is about 95%.

The impact of the NCVS survey redesign is dramatically demonstrated in the magnitude of difference in the number of incidents of completed and attempted rapes in 1991 (173,000) compared to 1993 (312,580), the first annual estimate after complete implementation of the survey redesign. In addition, the redesigned survey asks about a category of crimes not previously measured, i.e., sexual assaults. In 1993, sexual assaults accounted for an additional 172,700 incidents of personal violence. A BJS publication scheduled for release early in 1997 will analyze long term trends and a method for adjusting for the effects of the redesign.

Initial 1992-93 estimates of violence against women from the redesigned NCVS instrument reveal that out of the nearly 5 million violent victimizations against women which occur annually, 29% were perpetrated by intimates including, husbands and ex-husbands and boyfriends and ex-boyfriends. Over three-quarters of all violent incidents against women were perpetrated by offenders known to the victim.

Rates of intimate perpetrated violence from the redesigned NCVS were found to be over six times higher for women than for men. Intimate perpetrated violence affected women of all races and ethnic backgrounds to about the same extent.

The NEISS Program

BJS contracted with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to utilize the CPSC's ongoing National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to obtain injury data related to intentional injuries, especially injuries related to violence or abuse within households. From a national sample, the CPSC collected data for the BJS Intentional Injury Study at 31 hospitals. Specially trained coders at each hospital examined the record of every patient treated in the hospital's emergency department for information about the cause of any injury for which the patient was being treated. For the Intentional Injury Study, the coders used information present on the record to code whether or not the injury was caused intentionally or whether information on the record was consistent with an intentional injury. For 1994, the study contains information on almost 12,000 patients with injuries coded as "intentional". Analyses of these data are scheduled for publication in early 1997.

National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP)

Under this program, BJS provides funds to assist states in identifying, collecting, classifying, transferring, and assessing data on persons wanted, arrested, or convicted for domestic violence offenses, stalking, or those persons subject to civil restraining orders.

Since the inception of the NCHIP program in 1995, 29 states have received funds to improve the identification and collection of records involving domestic violence (including protective orders) and to ensure that such records are available in local, state and national data bases. Funds for these purposes were provided under both the Advanced State Award Program (ASAP) component of the FY 1995 NCHIP program and the FY 1996 NCHIP program, which specifically incorporated $1.5 million appropriated to BJS under the Violence Against Women Act. In addition, consistent with OJP policy, interested states were permitted to make early application for funding from the $1.75 million appropriated to BJS under the Violence Against Women Act in FY 1997. Seven states applied and awards of $30,000 were made to all applicants by December 1, 1996. The remainder of the states will each receive $30,000 from this appropriation as part of their regular FY 1997 NCHIP application.

As states improve their capacities to identify, flag, enumerate, and describe criminal incidents which occur within a family or domestic context, state-level estimates will improve in validity, reliability, and comparability. BJS has encouraged states to undertake more expansive efforts relating to domestic violence under the NCHIP program by suggesting that states may wish to combine both basic NCHIP and VAWA funds for these purposes.

Family Violence Caseload Tracking Project

In addition, also under the NCHIP program, BJS has funded the National Center for State Courts to review current working definitions of domestic violence as applied by the courts and to develop protocols for possible uniform data collection in this area. This effort will be expanded to incorporate state statistical agencies in order to ensure coordinated input on the issue.

Additionally, BJS, in discussion with SEARCH Group, Inc. and the National Center for State Courts, is considering the establishment of a Task Force to review data collection requirements imposed on courts under recent domestic violence and sexual offender registry legislation. This effort may also include an analysis of data element definitions and procedures for identifying and accessing such information on a real time basis.

IV. Anticipated Plans

Using NCSC's court data collection prototype as a product for initial discussion, BJS will fund a national project to broaden the consensus of common definition standards for domestic violence to include a wider range of state level criminal justice system entities as well as domestic violence advocacy groups. This project will include state-level consensus building activities and will culminate in a national conference.

The FY 1997 Omnibus Appropriations Act provides additional funding for BJS to extend the stalking and domestic violence component of the NCHIP program.

Also, BJS plans to sponsor a working conference for representatives from state criminal history repositories and policy makers to assist states in their efforts to comply with the recently passed sex offender registry legislation.

Two reports to be published in the first quarter of 1997 will analyze 1994 and 1995 data from the NCVS with respect to female victims of violent crimes. Essentially, the first will update the prior BJS report "Violence against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey" (August 1995) with 1994 survey data. The second and more comprehensive report will include 1995 data and will focus on a targeted aspect of victimization disproportionately affecting women.


I. Legislative Mandate

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research and development agency of the United States Department of Justice. NIJ was established to prevent and reduce crime and to improve the criminal justice system. Specific mandates established by Congress in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 direct the National Institute of Justice to:

Sponsor special projects, and research and development programs that will improve and strengthen the criminal justice system and reduce or prevent crime;

Conduct national demonstration projects that employ innovative or promising approaches for improving criminal justice;

Develop new technologies to fight crime and improve criminal justice;

Evaluate the effectiveness of criminal justice programs and identify programs that promise to be successful if continued or repeated;

Recommend actions that can be taken by Federal, State, and local governments, as well as private organizations, to improve criminal justice;

Carry out research on criminal behavior; and

Develop new methods to prevent and reduce crime and delinquency.

II. Background

The justice system mandate cited above concerns both serious crime committed by strangers as well as violence within the family and among other intimates. The National Institute of Justice has conducted research on child abuse and spouse assault for many years. In recent years, family violence research and evaluation addressing primarily justice system concerns have been established as a major program area at NIJ.

NIJ's research program includes the sponsorship and co-sponsorship of applied and basic research, as well as occasional intramural projects. The results of these projects have increased our understanding of crime and criminal justice issues and have informed policy and practice through a variety of useful publications. The more recent publications are cited under the publications section of this report.

Experimental research on spouse assault has primarily addressed the police response to the problem. An initial experiment in Minneapolis found positive effects of arrest in decreasing repeat offenses, while published results from the individual spouse assault replications and extensions are incomplete and inconsistent. One interpretation of these data suggests that being employed or married is a key factor in determining the positive effects of arrest for spouse assault. Where consistent analysis across all sites is possible, researchers report a consistent and positive, but marginal, effect for arrest. More recent research on spouse and partner assault has gone beyond this initial focus on the police response and has taken a more systemic view.

Past NIJ sponsored projects on child abuse have addressed a variety of topics including: the impact of the juvenile and criminal court process on the child; police investigations of child abuse; the impact of child abuse and neglect on later delinquency and adult criminality; improvements in interviewing techniques with children; trial considerations in the prosecution of child abuse; and an examination of the penalties imposed for sexual abuse when the victim is a child compared to when the victim is an adult. In addition to the publications resulting from these research projects, many informative presentations on the project findings have been made at various professional meetings and conferences.

Other past projects have addressed topics such as: the impacts of arrest on the social control of violence among intimates; evaluations of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Virginia Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program; and an examination of how the nation's probation and parole agencies are responding to the increased demand for supervision and management of sex offenders. Data collected from these and other projects will serve as a valuable source of new information for policymakers and practitioners.

III. Current Program

NIJ's current program includes a host of recently completed research and evaluation studies and many ongoing and newly funded projects. The mechanisms used to support these projects include the use of NIJ base appropriations, both with and without co-sponsorship, and the use of funds from Crime Act offices, particularly the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO), for evaluation and related research. In addition, in FY96 NIJ joined eight other federal institutes, offices, and centers in sponsoring a three year research program on violence against women and within the family. The results of all of these various funding approaches comprise NIJ's current program on family violence and violence against women and are summarized below.

Research on family and intimate violence has been a multi-million dollar thrust and includes more than thirty projects. The Violence Against Women Act and NIJ activities with other agencies have added new responsibilities and promise to NIJ's program in this area. In addition, a portion of several major NIJ contracts, such as the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, are responsive to numerous requests for family violence information. A Partnerships Against Violence Network (PAVNET) provides an online search and retrieval system that lists promising programs, information sources, and technical assistance and funding sources from various federal agencies. Family violence programs are included in PAVNET.

One major project that addresses family violence interventions is being supported by NIJ, various HHS agencies, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This comprehensive effort involves a multi disciplinary panel of experts convened by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The study committee is in the process of synthesizing the relevant research literature on family violence and will produce a report by the Fall of 1997. Another synthesis of issues and practices in the batterer treatment field is being completed with a report expected by the Summer of 1997.

Projects in progress are addressing many issues, including research on both the victims and the perpetrators of domestic violence; childhood victimization, including child maltreatment; the needs of children of battered women; and the handling of cases involving both custody disputes and domestic violence. A current Visiting Fellow at NIJ, James Collins, is conducting research on the linkage of domestic violence and substance abuse services.

Numerous projects have recently concluded and various types of NIJ, academic, and practitioner journal publications have been issued or are in progress. NIJ publishes a Research Preview or a Research in Brief of the results of most projects. These are available through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at (800) 851-3420. Full reports from projects can also be provided by NCJRS via inter-library loan or at cost of copying. Selected results from some recently completed projects are highlighted below.

The Violence Against Women Act: Research and Evaluation

NIJ has had responsibility for the conduct of various studies required under the VAWA and for the development and management of an evaluation and research program supported by the VAWGO. The NIJ studies were completed and the reports were forwarded to Congress in 1996. These reports include:

In addition to NIJ's responsibility for these Congressionally required studies, NIJ has been working closely with the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO) to provide an independent evaluation and research component to the overall mission of this program office. In Fiscal Year 1997 this program is entering its third year. The initial two years of the projected six year program witnessed the development of a comprehensive national evaluation of the Violence Against Women STOP Grant Program. This ongoing effort involves 1) documenting the range of activities and programs supported by the grants, 2) assessing the outcomes and accomplishments of grantees, 3) examining grantee planning and implementation efforts, 4) developing a strategy for documenting long-term impacts in coordination with evaluation grants that are focussed on the VAWA Chapter Two purpose areas, and 5) writing annual reports as the basis for reports to Congress. The initial years of this national evaluation are based on the analysis of grantee plans and reports, telephone interviews and site visits.

This national evaluation is complemented by other research and evaluation projects aimed at providing results to further the purposes of the VAWA. These related research and evaluation efforts will offer new ideas and information to better address violence against women at the state and local levels. Some of these projects will conclude in 1997 while several others only began at the close of 1996. Included among these projects are a focus on models of community coordination in response to partner violence; an exploration of the experiences and needs of former intimate stalking victims; an evaluation of the coordinated response to domestic violence in Alexandria, Virginia; a study of domestic violence prosecution strategies in Iowa; a national survey on the extent and nature of sexual victimization of college women; a study in Broward County, Florida, of court mandated counseling for domestic violence offenders; a study of alcohol problems and violence against women; a study of judicial and prosecutorial decision making in domestic violence cases and factors that influence victim/witness reluctance in these cases; and a follow-up study on improving domestic violence and sexual assault data systems in the states.

Several other NIJ projects that address domestic violence are supported through another Crime Act office, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). These include various police domestic violence intervention studies in Portland, Oregon; Seattle,

Washington; and Berkeley, California. COPS support for NIJ research is also addressing the effectiveness of a joint police and social service response to elder abuse in New York City.

Interagency Consortium for Research on

Violence Against Women and Violence within the Family

In January of 1996, NIJ and eight other federal offices announced a special Request for Applications (RFA) focusing on "Research on Violence Against Women and Violence within the Family." The RFA, released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially encouraged research on the abuse of children and elderly, partner violence, sexual violence, and perpetrators and victims of multiple episodes of family violence. This program was coordinated by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and included cosponsorship by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Justice, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The RFA represents the first interdepartmental and trans-NIH research funding program on violence. It was intended to bring together perspectives of the participating agencies, encompassing criminal justice, mental health, public health and prevention, alcohol and drug abuse, and child development perspectives, for the purpose of advancing our knowledge of family violence and violence against women.

The sponsoring organizations provided over $5 million to fund a total of ten three-year grants to conduct research on the causes, course, treatment, management, and prevention of family violence and violence against women, as well as on the health and legal consequences of this violence for victims. This interagency effort produced a synergy, attracting new and important applications that combined at-risk populations, outcomes, programs, and researchers in a way never seen in a single-organization solicitation. Two other applications submitted under the RFA are planned for support directly by NIH Institutes in FY 97. The National Institute of Justice will coordinate the activities of this program by hosting annual grantee meetings over the three year period.

The following lists the titles of the grants funded from the RFA pool:

"Children of Battered Women: Reducing Risk for Abuse."

"Protection of Women: Health and Justice Outcomes."

"Domestic Abuse Among Latinos: Description and Intervention."

"Maltreated Children's Emotions and Self-Cognition."

"Understanding Partner Violence in Native American Women."

"Intervention for Abuse of Aging Caregivers."

"Risk Factors for Homicide in Violent Intimate Relationships."

"The Effects of Community Violence on Women and Children."

"Prevention of Post-Rape Psychopathology in Women."

"Treatment of Violent Adolescent Males from Abusive Homes."

IV. Anticipated Plans

Family violence and violence against women will continue to be a major focus of the NIJ research program. In the years ahead NIJ will continue to solicit research, evaluation, and demonstration on child abuse; violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking; and elder abuse.

With the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, NIJ has a particular focus on evaluative research in this area, and the portfolio will continue to stress program evaluation and research that is consistent with the purposes of the Act. This program responds to both the Congressional and public demand for accountability and the need to develop a knowledge base that examines policy and programmatic experiences and continually recommends improvements to them. It is anticipated that the evaluation and research program accompanying the Violence Against Women Act Chapter 2 efforts will continue to provide answers to significant questions, and ultimately address the question of the impact of the six year, $800 million dollar program.

The Violence Against Women research agenda required by the VAWA and developed by the National Research Council provides a blueprint for future research and evaluation in this field. A request for new funding in the 1998 Fiscal Year budget to implement work on this agenda was developed jointly with the Centers for Disease Control and NIJ. In addition, the comprehensive work by the National Research Council on Family Violence Interventions discussed earlier is due for completion by the Fall of 1997. It will be a useful resource to both practitioners and researchers.

The various family violence studies that have recently concluded will result in publications that offer insights and recommendations for improvements in the criminal justice system response to family and intimate violence. Over the next year, the Institute will continue to develop new partnerships, as well as continue current ones, with bureaus in the Department of Justice, other federal agencies, and private foundations, in order to effectively address the multidimensional problem of family and intimate violence.



I. Legislative Mandate

The mission of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is to provide national leadership, direction, coordination, and resources to prevent, treat, and control juvenile delinquency; improve the effectiveness and fairness of the juvenile justice system; and address the problem of missing and exploited children. In fulfilling this mission, OJJDP contributes to developing the full potential of America's most valuable resource - its youth.

In 1974, Congress enacted the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act (Public Law 93-415, 42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq.). This landmark legislation established OJJDP to provide Federal leadership and support to State and local governments in their efforts to prevent delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system. The Act requires OJJDP to address juvenile justice issues in a comprehensive, coordinated manner and to support research, training, and program initiatives that respond to a broad spectrum of juvenile justice issues. Specifically, Section 261(a)(4) and (5) of the JJDP Act of 1974, as amended, states OJJDP's primary program authority regarding families as "establishing or supporting programs (including self-help programs for parents) stressing advocacy activities aimed at improving services to juveniles affected by the juvenile justice system, including services that provide for the appointment of special advocates by courts for such juveniles, including programs that work with families during the incarceration of juvenile family members and which take into consideration the special needs of families with limited-English speaking ability; and developing or supporting model programs to strengthen and maintain the family unit in order to prevent or treat juvenile delinquency."

Additionally, Congress enacted the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, Public Law 101-647, as amended by P. L. 102-586 (1992). This Act authorizes the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to promote the development of local children's advocacy centers and establish regional children's advocacy centers to support local programs; strengthen court appointed special advocates programs; and improve the prosecution and court management of child abuse and neglect cases.

OJJDP carries out its policies, programs, and goals through the coordinated activities of seven organizational components: 1) Research and Program Development Division, 2) Training and Technical Assistance Division, 3) Special Emphasis Division, 4) State Relations and Assistance Division, 5) Information Dissemination and Planning Unit, 6) Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, and 7) Missing and Exploited Children's Program. The 1992 reauthorization of the JJDP Act authorized OJJDP to support a number of new priority program areas, including: hate crime education, gender bias and gender-specific services, mentoring, boot camps, due process

and right to counsel, services to juveniles in secure custody, graduated sanctions, and family involvement in the treatment of delinquents.

The reauthorizations of the JJDP Act have focused OJJDP's attention and activities on family violence and other pressing juvenile justice issues of the day. Through a variety of initiatives, OJJDP continues to address important juvenile justice issues related to family violence.

II. Background

Prevention, intervention, treatment, and the study of family violence are common threads through many OJJDP endeavors, even though previous programs or research projects have not focused solely on "family violence" or utilized it as a main theme.

The Missing and Exploited Children's Program has addressed family violence issues while meeting its responsibility to coordinate activities pertaining to missing and exploited children--preventing abductions, investigating cases, locating missing and exploited children and reuniting them with their families, providing treatment, and prosecuting abductors. Since 1984, OJJDP has been the principal funding source for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a private nonprofit organization spearheading national efforts to locate and recover missing children and raise public awareness about the prevention of child abduction, molestation, and sexual exploitation. The OJJDP/NCMEC partnership coordinates the efforts of law enforcement agencies, social service providers, elected officials, judges, prosecutors, educators, and public and private organizations to address these crimes against children.

Several OJJDP studies have touched on family violence issues. Among them are "Families of Missing Children, Final Report" prepared by the Center for the Study of Trauma, University of California, San Francisco (1992), "Child Victim as Witness Research and Development Program: Final Report," prepared by D. Whitcomb, et al (1986); and "Strengthening America's Families: Promising Parenting Strategies for Delinquency Prevention, User's Guide," prepared by the University of Utah and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (1992).

OJJDP's Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency has clarified the relationship between the family and involvement in juvenile delinquency. Low family socioeconomic status has been found to be associated with chronic delinquency. In addition, low family socioeconomic status is correlated with other risk factors to delinquency, including large family size, perinatal complications, parental mental illness, and low levels of parent education. Research has shown that poor family attachment is directly related to both delinquency and drug use. Poor parenting behavior (failure to communicate with and monitor children) and parental conflicts (inconsistency of punishment and avoidance of discipline) are also related to subsequent delinquency.

These OJJDP studies have shed new light on the relationship between domestic violence and

subsequent violent behavior by children in violent families. For example, research conducted at the State University of New York at Albany shows that:

Abused children are more likely to commit violent offenses as they grow older than are children not abused in the home;

The percentage of children committing violent offenses increases more than 20% when they are exposed to one form of family violence (domestic violence, family climate of hostility, or child maltreatment); and

Adolescents from multiple violent families are twice as likely to be violent as those from nonviolent families.

OJJDP has developed a "Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders" (1993) that calls for early intervention in troubled families that are at risk of producing such juvenile offenders. Program development work has identified effective prevention, intervention, and treatment programs from prenatal care to after care. OJJDP's Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders (1995) contains an inventory of promising and successful program models and techniques to assist interested jurisdictions in implementing their local prevention, early intervention and graduated sanction programs.

OJJDP has provided support to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges to develop model practices for juvenile and family courts in handling domestic violence cases. Improved coordination among social services, child care agencies, and the courts is expected to result from adoption of these practices.

OJJDP has also helped practitioners examine the interrelationship between family violence and child abuse and develop strategies and practices to improve family outcomes. This has been accomplished primarily through efforts of the National Network of Children's Advocacy Centers with support from the Office for Victims of Crime.

III. Current Programs

Children's Advocacy Center Program. Since 1994, OJJDP has supported the nationwide development and improvement of local children's advocacy centers (CACs). Children's advocacy centers are child-focused, facility-based programs that use multi disciplinary teams to coordinate the judicial and social service systems' response to victims of child abuse. The teams work to prevent revictimization of abused children. Typically, they conduct joint interviews and make team decisions about management of these cases and provision of services to child victims and their families.

Under the Victims of Child Abuse Act authorization, the Fiscal Year 1996 Appropriations Act provided $2 million to support local children's advocacy centers (the funding of which was administered by the National Network of Children's Advocacy Centers) and $500,000 to continue support of four regional children's advocacy centers (RCACs) established in 1995. Another $500,000 was allocated to support efforts of the National Network of Children's Advocacy Centers to promote national standards and effective practices through training and technical assistance to local communities.

The CAC grantees have developed valuable resource materials for the field that address the skills and organizational development needed to improve the prosecution, investigation and treatment of child abuse and neglect. This includes understanding the interrelationship of family violence with child abuse and neglect. The materials include an organizational development manual, two videos on CACs and the CAC team, a four-step methodology to help communities assess and plan multi disciplinary programs, and forensic interviewing manuals.

Under the leadership of OJJDP, the CAC grantees have also begun to establish and develop linkages with allied organizations and grantees to improve services to the field. These linkages include the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, Fox Valley Technical College, and M/CAP.

With supplemental funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, the CAC grantees have begun to enhance core activities through a number of projects. These include: assisting a Native American tribal community to establish a pilot children's advocacy center, developing a video illustrating properly conducted forensic medical examinations, establishing formal mentoring programs to facilitate CAC replication, and continuing to forge more effective relationships between family violence and children's advocacy center practitioners.

The Parent Project: The Parents Anonymous (PA) Replication Network. As noted, research has shown that child abuse can significantly contribute to acts of aggression and delinquent behavior by some children. Conversely, adolescents who exhibit antisocial behavior may become targets of abuse by their parents. Recognizing the link between child abuse and juvenile delinquency, OJJDP began providing grant support to Parents Anonymous, Inc. in FY1994. The purpose was to enhance the capability of PA's state and local organizations to prevent child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency by strengthening families through unique, self-help programming with a special focus on expanding services to families of color living in low-income, high crime areas. This national initiative is being implemented in 11 states by PA organizations dedicated to serving a range of cultural groups, including Native American, African-American, Asian, Latino, and Appalachian families.

PA is completing development of "best practices" materials that identify successful elements and strategies for program development and implementation, as reported by those who established and are implementing the programs initiated under this initiative. PA is also giving special attention to developing successful linkages to the juvenile justice system and to meeting the needs of minority families in both urban and rural communities, including those who are non-English speaking.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). In FY96, OJJDP provided $6 million to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association for training and technical assistance to local CASA programs and subgrants to communities to assist in the development and strengthening of CASA programs. CASA programs train volunteers (known as CASAs) who supplement and assist overburdened court officials and social workers. Generally handling one or two cases at a time, they perform court-supervised fact-finding in cases where there are charges of child abuse and neglect in dependency proceedings. CASAs also make permanent placement recommendations to the court.

Improving the Juvenile and Family Courts' Handling of Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Model Training and Technical Assistance Program. The purpose of this grant to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is to use the successful dependency court demonstration project in Cincinnati, Ohio as the basis for administrative reform of juvenile and family courts across the nation. The NCJFCJ is currently assisting nine additional courts to implement this demonstration program. The model streamlines the juvenile and family court's handling of child abuse and neglect cases through front-loading (bringing together at the initial hearing all the parties to the matter), assignment of one hearing officer for the life of a case, and instituting case tracking systems to help courts make speedy but well informed decisions about placement. The goal is to ensure that children do not languish unnecessarily in temporary foster care. Other NCJFCJ activities are designed to assist State courts in the provision of training and technical assistance for judicial personnel, attorneys, and other key juvenile and family court staff and to improve procedures for determining whether child service agencies have made "reasonable efforts" to prevent out of home placement.

Child Abuse and Exploitation Investigative Techniques Training Program. Since 1982, OJJDP has offered a five-day training for thousands of national, State and local law enforcement officers in the investigation of child abuse and exploitation that includes a segment providing technical assistance on the investigation of specific cases of child abuse. An advanced course on investigative techniques and resources for missing and exploited child cases is now being offered to those who have completed the basic course. Training is provided at the request of individual police departments. The programs utilize experienced law enforcement and child abuse investigators as trainers. These trainings are delivered through a contract with Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Child Abuse Prosecution Training and Technical Assistance. An OJJDP grant supports the American Prosecutors Research Institute's National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse. The Center works to improve the quality of child abuse prosecution by providing training, technical assistance and resource materials to elected and appointed prosecutors at the local, State, and Federal levels. Workshops, conferences, and informational materials provided by the

Center also benefit law enforcement, social workers, therapists, and other personnel handling child abuse cases.

Child Abuse and Exploitation Team Investigative Program. CAE-TIP is an intensive "team" training program designed for four-member local teams. Participants represent law enforcement, prosecution, social services, and medical personnel (optional). The focus of the program is the development of an interagency process and protocols for the enhanced enforcement, prevention, and intervention of child abuse cases. Hands-on, team activity involving investigations, case preparation and prosecution form the basis of this fast-paced offering. Teams are assisted in the development of their own interagency implementation plan for the improved management and investigation of these important and sensitive cases.

Responding to Missing and Abducted Children. The purpose of this 4 1/2 day training is to provide law enforcement and other professionals with the information necessary to properly understand, recognize, investigate, and resolve missing and abducted children's cases. Topics covered include: investigation of non-family abductions, family abductions, investigation of runaway/thrownaway children, victim impact, reunification/recovery, media, case management, and case enhancement resources.

Child Sexual Exploitation Investigations. This course, also four ½ days, is designed to provide law enforcement professionals with the information necessary to properly understand, recognize, investigate, and resolve cases of child sexual exploitation. In this class, participants learn to understand the behavior of the child predator, obtain an understanding of how a child predator solicits and accomplishes his/her sexual satisfaction, and gain expertise in how to obtain and execute search warrants. Topics covered include computer child exploitation, missing children, child prostitution, interviewing the victim, suspect interrogation, prosecution, Federal agencies' roles and resources, Federal statutes, case enhancement/victim services, and managing the child exploitation problem.

Model Treatment and Service Approaches for Mental Health Professionals Working with Families of Missing Children. A grant to the Western Center for Child Protection is designed to provide mental health personnel with information on effective treatment approaches for rehabilitating families traumatized by child abduction and faced with reestablishing a state of normalcy in its aftermath.

Investigation and Prosecution of Parental Abduction Cases. A grant to the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) assists local prosecutors in bringing more informed and more effective prosecution of non-custodial parents who abduct their children. APRI identifies the legal and social issues in these cases, analyzes and summarizes existing research in this area, identifies experts who handle these cases, and produces and disseminates legal analysis and guidelines for local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies concerning such cases.

National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children (NISMART II). In the 1984 Missing Children's Assistance Act, OJJDP was authorized to conduct periodic studies of the number of children abducted in a given year and the number who have been recovered. In 1995, a cooperative agreement was awarded to Temple University's Institute for Survey Research to design and conduct the second such study of missing, abducted, runaway and thrownaway children in America. The second study will build upon the first NISMART study by: improving the definitions for counting incidents; interviewing a larger national sample of parents or primary care givers and children about their experiences; sampling police records from a larger number of agencies; and studying a more representative sample of residential facilities from which youth may run away. The project will complete the design and pretest work in 1997 and begin interviews in January of 1998. Results from the studies are anticipated to be released early in 1999.

Remember, They're Children: Using Video to Train Law Enforcement. A grant was awarded to the University of Southern Maine for a project to minimize the negative impact of law enforcement investigative procedures on maltreated children. This was accomplished by developing and disseminating to law enforcement personnel a comprehensive video training curriculum designed to improve investigative responses to child victims of maltreatment. The National Child Welfare Resource Center is providing small- and medium-sized police departments with the resources to train and support their staff on how to conduct effective, but non-traumatizing, child abuse investigations.

Missing and Exploited Children Comprehensive Action Program (MCAP). MCAP is a multi-agency juvenile services coordination community action program that was administered by Public Administration Services. OJJDP is now offering MCAP as a training and technical assistance project through Fox Valley Technical College. The program provides directed and supportive training and technical assistance to encourage, guide, and focus community development and planning on important missing and exploited children's issues. The resulting program development provides sound programmatic, policy, and procedural approaches. It also encourages multi-agency community planning and delivery of services to focus more cooperatively and responsively on recognized missing and exploited children problems and services.

Strengthening America's Families. In 1996, OJJDP established a three-year grant project to expand efforts to assist communities in strengthening family programs. The University of Utah's Health and Education Department was awarded a cooperative agreement to implement a training and technical assistance model designed to identify and disseminate information about exemplary and promising family strengthening programs. Under the project, a national conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Individual workshops were offered on the most effective programs to guide practitioners and administrators in enhancing, establishing, or adapting model programs in their communities. The project's efforts will be continued in 1997 and 1998 through tailored training and support to individual communities.

Study of Child Abuse Offenders. Under the National Child Protection Act of 1993, Section 2(f), the Administrator of OJJDP is tasked to study and report on child abuse offenders. The report, based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities, 1991, has been completed. It reflects what is known about the most serious and dangerous child abusers in the nation and details current projects and ongoing research that OJJDP and BJS have funded in this subject area. The report was submitted to Congress in March 1996.

Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs. The 1992 amendment to the JJDP Act established OJJDP's Title V. The Community Prevention Grants Program provides funds to States for sub-grants to communities to support the implementation of local prevention plans focused on at-risk children, teenagers, and their families. Some of the risk factors for delinquency addressed by Title V include: family history of high-risk behavior, family management problems, family conflict, inconsistent discipline, and a lack of parental involvement.

IV. Anticipated Plans

OJJDP is committed to designing programs to help parents, communities, and practitioners address the problems of juvenile crime and stem the wave of violence that is plaguing our nation. As a major component of this effort, OJJDP developed "A Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders." OJJDP has used this strategy as the basis for a five-year program entitled "SafeFutures: Partnerships to Reduce Youth Violence and Delinquency." Through a range of SafeFutures program components including family strengthening, mentoring, day treatment, graduated sanctions, and aftercare, OJJDP is providing each of six SafeFutures sites with funding and a comprehensive technical assistance package. With these resources, the sites are focusing program efforts in targeted neighborhoods to: 1) prevent youth violence and delinquency by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors; 2) develop a continuum of care for juveniles consisting of both institutional and systems change and a focused effort on the most at-risk youth and families in the jurisdiction; 3) build the capacity to institutionalize and sustain coordinated efforts; and 4) measure outcomes. Because dysfunctional or violent families are a significant risk factor for delinquency and related negative behaviors, these family-related issues are a key component of the SafeFutures Program.

A major new Fiscal Year 1996 Program is Safe Kids, Safe Streets: Community Approaches to Combating Child Abuse and Neglect. This program, based on input from practitioners, researchers and policy makers, is designed to reduce juvenile delinquency by helping break the cycle of child and adolescent abuse and neglect, thereby substantially reducing child maltreatment and fatalities and improving outcomes for children and families. Funded jointly by three agencies of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)--OJJDP, the Executive Office for Weed and Seed, and the Violence Against Women's Grants Office--this solicitation invited proposals to improve community response to abuse and neglect of children and adolescents.

Additional support is being provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

Three to six cooperative agreements will be awarded early in 1997 ranging from $425,000 to $925,000 each for the initial 18-month budget period of a 66-month project period. The goals of the program are to: (1) encourage localities to restructure and strengthen the criminal and juvenile justice systems to be more comprehensive and proactive in helping children and adolescents and their families who have been or are at risk of being abused and neglected; (2) implement or strengthen coordinated management of abuse and neglect cases by improving policy and practice of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and the child welfare, family services, and related systems; and (3) develop comprehensive community wide, cross-agency strategies to reduce child and adolescent abuse and neglect and resulting child fatalities. Communities are encouraged to coordinate family violence and child abuse and neglect intervention and prevention work.


I. Legislative Mandate

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) was established in 1984 as a result of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). OVC is responsible for administering and managing deposits into the Crime Victims Fund. Furthermore, OVC makes grants available for training and technical assistance to eligible crime victims compensation programs, including programs compensating victims of domestic violence, and crime victims assistance programs, with priority given to those programs that provide assistance to victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, or child abuse.

II. Background

The 1988 amendment to VOCA mandates that State compensation programs extend benefits to victims of domestic violence as a condition of continued eligibility for Federal funding. Prior to these amendments, victims of domestic violence were often denied compensation benefits solely based on their relationship to the offender. Since these mandates, over half of all VOCA victims assistance grant funds are awarded to public and private nonprofit organizations providing services to victims of domestic violence, including victims of child abuse.

VOCA requires priority consideration for awarding state formula victim assistance funding to programs serving victims of sexual assault, spousal abuse, and child abuse. Furthermore, OVC has awarded discretionary grants to crime victims assistance programs for technical assistance services and training for criminal justice system professionals and victim service providers.

The Victims of Crime Act also requires OVC to review Federal law enforcement compliance with Federal victim assistance statutes and, to strengthen and expand services for Federal crime victims. The Victims of Child Abuse Act (passed as part of the 1990 Crime Control Act) emphasizes children's rights and requires the Federal justice system to adapt procedures to the needs and abilities of child victims and witnesses. Examples of requirements in that Act include: speedy trials; alternatives to live, in-court testimony; appointment of a guardian ad litem or adult attendant; and a multi disciplinary approach to reduce the number of child interviews.

III. Current Programs

Discretionary Grant Programs


Under the discretionary grant programs OVC funds, there are a number of programs which are targeted for Indian Nations. Grants under these programs are awarded directly to the tribes and are focused on various family violence issues.

Children's Justice Act Discretionary Grant Program for Native Americans (CJA). Initiated in 1990, OVC awards eight to 10 grants annually to Indian tribes to improve the investigation, prosecution, and handling of cases of child sexual abuse and serious child physical abuse in a manner that increases support for and reduces trauma to child victims. The program goal is to strengthen existing child abuse programs or develop new programs that deal effectively with cases of child sexual abuse and serious child physical abuse and to promote these projects as models for other tribes to use in developing similar programs.

Children's Advocacy Centers in Indian Country. Two tribes will receive funding to establish demonstration sites for child-focused, multi-disciplinary settings for the investigation of child sexual abuse cases. The center will allow for a coordinated strategy to meet the needs of child victims and the criminal justice system. OVC will make funding available through OJJDP under a cooperative agreement with regional Children's Advocacy Centers.

Victim Assistance in Indian Country Program (VAIC). The VAIC grant program provides funding directly to tribes to establish "on-reservation" victim assistance programs for federal crime victims in Indian country, where the U.S. Government is responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. To date, OVC has expended $6,600,000 on this effort and, as a result, has funded approximately 52 tribes in 19 states that provide services such as crisis intervention, emergency shelter for family violence victims, mental health counseling, and court advocacy. The majority of the services provided under this program assist child victims.

Tribal Court Appointed Special Advocate Programs (CASA). These programs will enable tribal court systems to assign advocates to represent the best interests of Native American children. This funding will provide for two tribal CASA and for those programs to participate in the National CASA Conference.


Domestic Violence In Kentucky: Model Law Enforcement Response. This program is a joint effort with the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Violence Against Women Grants Office to establish a demonstration program in Kentucky. The effort is designed to implement the Full Faith and Credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. It is both an intra-state and inter-state enforcement effort.

Hospital-Based Emergency Shelter for Women and Children Victimized by Domestic Violence. The Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center (LAC/USC) currently provides services to children who are victims of abuse, and will be expanding its focus to establish an emergency shelter within the Medical Center, as well as needed services, for victims of domestic violence and their children.


OVC has funded national scope training and technical assistance projects that focus on special categories of victims, such as victims of domestic violence, child victims, the elderly, and minorities. Other projects target specific professional groups, such as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges, as well as corrections, probation, and parole personnel. In addition, training and technical assistance have been provided to victim service providers and allied professionals who work with victims, such as mental health professionals. Some projects have addressed multi-disciplinary audiences, composed of representatives from different fields.

Over the past couple of years OVC has provided funding for a number of training and technical assistance programs focused specifically on domestic violence, child abuse, and other family violence issues.

Educating to End Domestic Violence. The goal of this program is to encourage law schools to establish, develop, and expand Domestic Violence Assistance Programs in Law School Clinics to assist victims of domestic violence. The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence received funding to examine some of the most successful and innovative clinical programs and curricula in law schools throughout the country, and to develop and disseminate a report outlining course innovations, written protocols, curricula, and other related materials currently utilized to teach domestic violence within the law school curriculum.

Promising Strategies and Practices to Enhance Workplace Response to Victims of Domestic Violence. The San Francisco based Family Violence Prevention Fund was funded to create a blueprint for galvanizing workplaces, a central force in most Americans' lives, to ensure that employers and unions support victims of domestic violence to obtain the services they need to end violent relationships. The first step will be a "victim needs assessment" and a white paper articulating the rationale for employer and union involvement on this issue. The project will create materials outlining model policies and programs which can be jointly adopted by employers and labor unions. Workplaces that adopt the models will become part of the victims' safety net. By providing protection and services in the workplace, where victims frequently are vulnerable, the project fills a gap in the community's response to domestic violence. Finally, the project will work with trade and labor organizations and others to build a network for distributing the model policies and practices. These networking and collaboration activities will serve to increase public awareness of domestic violence as a workplace issue.

Full Faith & Credit Training & Technical Assistance Project. The goal of this training and technical assistance cooperative agreement is to develop effective law enforcement, prosecution, court, and advocacy practices to promote accessible, consistent enforcement of civil and criminal protection orders in appropriate state and tribal courts throughout the country, pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act,

(VAWA), 18 U.S.C. Section 2265. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc., Battered Women's Justice Project has received funding to implement this program.

Finding Common Ground. This conference, hosted by the National Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, brought together experts in the fields of domestic violence and child abuse to explore the relationship between child abuse and domestic violence and recommend proposals for collaboration between professionals working in these two fields.

Regional Conference on Family Violence. The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, the American Medical Association, and the Department of Health and Human Services co-sponsored a conference that brought together multi disciplinary, community teams to discuss their efforts and enhance their skills in addressing family violence issues.

When the Cry Comes. This national teleconference on domestic violence sought to train law enforcement officials on best practices when handling a case of domestic violence. This teleconference aired at 165 locations, in 45 states, across the country, and viewed by nearly 4000 criminal justice professions and victim advocates. OVC is currently working with the Violence Against Women Grants Office to develop a follow-up teleconference on the impact of domestic violence on children.

Battered Foreign-Spouse Program. The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence and AYUDA, Inc. are developing a nationally applicable training curriculum and resource manual for law enforcement and justice system personnel, domestic violence and victim advocates, and attorneys. The products will address the immigration provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, which allow battered immigrant spouses to self-petition for the right to remain in the United States.

Across State Lines: Collaborating to Keep Women Safe. This national conference is a joint project with the Violence Against Women Grants Office to engage states in efforts to improve implementation of the Full Faith and Credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. During the past few years OVC has funded several projects aimed at assisting the states to implement this provision of the Act. This conference will provide needed training and technical assistance to state teams of law enforcement and court professionals on the implementation of the Full Faith and Credit provisions of the Violence Against Women Act.

Safe Kids/Safe Streets: Community Based Approaches to Intervening in Child Abuse and Neglect. This OJP-wide program will create systemic reforms to improve services for abused children, provide training and technical assistance support to practitioners who service child victims and their families, strengthen a continuum of family support services to assure that assessment, counseling, and victim assistance services are available, assure the uniformity of evaluation protocols across sites, and provide prevention education and public information. OVC will provide the grantees with training, technical assistance, and training materials on improving services for child victims. Assistance will focus on expanding the availability of medical services to sexually and physically abused children and mentoring or training programs for communities wishing to establish a Children's Advocacy Center. New technologies, use of specially trained nurse practitioners, and coordination with facilities that are providing quality forensic examinations and other medical services to child victims are some of the approaches to be utilized in improving medical services for young victims.

Sexual Victimization of Youth. The National Child Advocacy Center, Huntsville, AL will conduct a symposium to identify issues and challenges in responding effectively to young victims of sexual violence, including promising practices, and new strategies for further action. Up to 20 leading practitioners, policy makers, and researchers will be invited to attend the symposium. With a comprehensive focus on sexual victimization, including sexual homicide, forcible rape, incest, acquaintance rape, and sexual exploitation, the symposium will concentrate on the experience of adolescents (ages 11 through 18 years).

Young Teen Girls Sexually Victimized by Older Men: Improving the Criminal Justice Response. The American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law, has been funded to identify promising practices of prosecutors, victim advocates, police, and judges in handling statutory rape cases, and to develop a Compendium, with specific guidance for prosecutors, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and judges to help young teen girls who are victims in these types of cases.

Support for Grieving and Bereaved Children. The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is developing a training curriculum to assist victim service providers who work with children who are grieving as a result of violent crime, whether it be as victims themselves, as relatives of injured or murdered victims, or as witnesses of violent acts. The curriculum will expand on a guidebook NOVA produced which addresses various methods for working with grieving and bereaved children. Once the curriculum is developed, NOVA will conduct three regional trainings.

In addition to these specific training and technical assistance programs on family violence issues, OVC will continue to integrate information on family violence into training and technical assistance activities and into materials produced by the majority of the discretionary projects funded by the Office. Specifically, the topic will be covered in the training and technical assistance that will be provided to corrections personnel, the clergy, mental health practitioners, the media, and law enforcement. Finally, another series of State and regional multi-disciplinary training conferences on victims' issues will be sponsored, all of which will include a number of workshops on family violence. The regional workshops on elder abuse will be co-sponsored with the Administration on Aging (HHS), the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Justice, the National Sheriff's Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons. The initial law enforcement "train the trainers" grants designed to provide officers with the best methods to respond to family violence have

been completed. And as planned, the curricular materials have been incorporated in the regular police academy training requirements in all the states where the grants were awarded.


In addition to the national scope training and technical assistance, OVC conducts training programs for federal prosecutors, investigators, and victim-witness coordinators on handling child abuse cases in the federal criminal justice system.

National Symposium on Child Sexual Abuse in Huntsville, Alabama. Since 1988, OVC has sponsored the participation of federal criminal justice personnel on the issue of child sexual abuse. United States Attorneys' Offices nominate multi-disciplinary teams consisting of federal prosecutors, criminal investigators, and victim-witness coordinators to attend this specialized training. A federal training day precedes the Symposium and focuses on handling child sexual abuse cases in the federal criminal justice system. In 1996, for the first time, OVC funded a domestic violence track at the Huntsville conference. The goal of this track was to explore collaboration between service providers that assist victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

Four Corners Indian Country Victim's Rights - Child Abuse Conference. This conference brings together approximately 200 federal, tribal and state prosecutors, law enforcement officials, and health, social services, and victim assistance professionals who work in Indian country on behalf of child victims. Four contiguous U.S. Attorneys' Offices jointly present this four-day conference, which features interactive, regional problem-solving workshops.

District-Specific Training Initiative. OVC sets aside $50,000 to $80,000 each year to fund U.S. Attorney's Offices for multi-disciplinary training efforts in regions or Federal Districts. One common theme that runs through each of these regional conferences in Indian country is an emphasis on the recognition of importance and dynamics of family violence and how best to assist those who have been victimized within their family environment.

Violence Against Women Act Specialist. This position was funded to assist the Executive Office for United States Attorneys to provide training and technical assistance to Assistant United States Attorneys and Victim-Witness Coordinators on dealing with victims of domestic violence. In January 1997, the Violence Against Women Act Specialist worked with the Department of Justice to develop and conduct training for AUSA's identified as Points of Contact with respect to VAWA cases.

Formula Grant Programs

The Victim Assistance State Grant Program is a rich source of services for domestic violence and child abuse victims. From 1986 through 1995 states have allocated over 50 percent of VOCA victim assistance funds (over $287 million) to this area. Services under these programs included intervention, group therapy, court accompaniment, transportation, emergency shelter, and counseling for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

The State Crime Victim Compensation Program is another major resource for child victims and their families. Surpassing all other categories of victims seeking financial assistance from victim compensation programs, the number of innocent child victims receiving benefits has accelerated dramatically since the inception of the Federal VOCA Crime Victim Compensation Program. Awards for child victims surged from approximately $13 million in FY 1986 to over $36 million in FY 1995. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of all compensation awards were paid on behalf of adult and child victims of domestic violence in FY 1994.

IV. Anticipated Plans

Clearly, family violence is an area that demands a great deal of attention, resources, and creativity. OVC has worked, and will continue to work, on the myriad of issues facing victims of family violence. In recent years, the focus has been primarily domestic violence and child abuse. Among these areas alone, there are a multitude of issues to address. OVC has extended these issues to examine the very complex issue of domestic violence and its relationship to child abuse and its impact on children. In doing so, OVC recognizes the great challenges that exist in creating collaborative relationships among the service providers that work with these two groups of victims. However, OVC also recognizes the urgent need for such collaborations and the importance of focusing on this issue.

Bureau of Justice Assitance, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, Violence Against Women Grants Office

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