FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                    VAWO

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2001                                                                             202/307-0703


Justice Department Makes Funding Applications Available For Three Violence Against Women Programs


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department has over $89 million available in FY 2001 to help states respond to violence against women in rural areas, provide legal assistance to victims, and encourage the arrest of batterers and enforcement of protection orders. 

The Department’s Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) has released on-line applications for funding for three programs -- the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Assistance Grant Program, the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program and the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program.  Applications are due March 14, March 20 and March 28, respectively.  Grant awards are scheduled for late July and August.

“These programs enable us to help communities improve victims’ access to services,” said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, which includes VAWO.  “These initiatives also allow the criminal justice system to better investigate and prosecute cases involving violent crimes against women.”

The Rural Program is designed to improve services to victims and their children by encouraging community involvement in developing a coordinated response to domestic violence and child abuse.  States, Indian tribal governments, local governments in 19 rural states, and

other public and private entities in those rural states are eligible to apply for a total of $24.38 million in Rural Program funds available this year.  In nonrural states, the state may apply on behalf of one or more of its rural jurisdictions.

VAWO has $31.56 million available in FY 2001 for the Legal Assistance for Victims Program, 25 percent of which must be used to support projects focused solely or primarily on providing legal assistance to victims of sexual assault.  Eligible grantees include private nonprofits, Indian tribal governments, and law school clinics and other publicly funded organizations not acting in a governmental capacity.   

The Legal Assistance Program was created by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) and replaces the Domestic Violence Victims’ Civil Legal Assistance Program.  It is designed to strengthen legal assistance for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking through collaborative programs that increase access to legal services in a wide range of legal matters.

VAWA 2000 also created the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of

Protection Orders Program, which replaces the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program.  A total of $33.15 million is available this year. States, units of local government, Indian tribal governments, and state and local courts are eligible to apply. Other agencies, such as police departments, must apply through a state, unit of local government, Indian tribal government, or a state or local court.

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program promotes mandatory and pro-arrest policies and encourages jurisdictions to treat domestic

violence as a serious criminal offense, establish coordinated community responses, and facilitate the enforcement of protection orders.  Priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate a commitment to strong enforcement of protection orders from other states and jurisdictions.

Current grantees and programs that have not previously received funding under the existing programs are eligible to apply for FY 2001 funds.  The selection process will be highly competitive and peer review panels will rate and rank applications.

More information about the Rural, Legal Assistance and Arrest Programs and other violence against women efforts is available on VAWO’s Website at, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free at 1-800/851-3420.   




After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534