FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                VAWO

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2001                                                                                    202/307-0703





WASHINGTON, DC – The Justice Department announced today that it is awarding two Dallas, Texas area organizations grants totaling $483,431 to provide comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  These funds will support projects that provide comprehensive legal services, victim advocacy, and improved responses of the criminal justice system which enhance victim safety and strengthen economic autonomy.  Of the total funding, $284,170 is awarded to the East Dallas Counseling Center Inc. to strengthen legal services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Funding to the East Dallas Counseling Center Inc. is under OJP’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program administered by the Department’s Violence Against Women Office (VAWO).  Also awarded is $199,261 to Dallas County to institute policies and programs that encourage arrest of the perpetrators of domestic violence. Funding for this award is part of VAWO’s Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program. 

“This funding promotes partnerships among all components of the legal and criminal justice systems to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.  The resources made available through the grant funds directly meet the needs of victims and hold offenders accountable,” said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Office of Justice Programs.

            The East Dallas Counseling Center, Inc. and its project partner, the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc., serve the civil legal needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially those from diverse and traditionally underserved populations. Underserved populations include refugees, immigrants, and migrant clients, in addition to the traditionally underserved populations of racial, cultural, ethnic, and language minorities.

The Dallas County Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program funding focuses on:

·            Implementing mandatory arrest or  pro-arrest policies and programs in police departments;

·            Centralizing domestic violence cases;

·            Strengthening legal advocacy service programs for victims of domestic violence;

·            Enforcing protective orders and implementing the full faith and credit provision of the Violence Against Women Act;

·            Instituting community-driven initiatives to address violence against women among diverse, traditionally underserved populations; and

·            Supporting community policing to reduce and prevent violence against women.

 Both grant programs are funded under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  For information about the East Dallas Counseling Center, Inc., contact Walter H. Nguyen  at 214/821-5393.  For information about the Dallas County grant, contact Lee Jackson at 214/653-7555.  Information about these and other initiatives involving violence against women is available on VAWO’s Website at or OJP’s Website at, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 1-800/851-3420.                                                                       



After hours contact: Angela Harless on 202/616-3266 or pager #888/763-8943