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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Justice Department Observes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Department of Justice today reaffirmed its commitment to ending violence against women. The month of October is observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month around the country by advocates, victim service providers, law enforcement, the judiciary, prosecutors and survivors to raise public awareness about domestic violence. President Obama made the official announcement in a proclamation distributed today and available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-National-Domestic-Violence-Awareness-Month/

On September 14, 2009, the Department of Justice marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the creation of its Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The department has kicked-off a year-long effort to raise public awareness, build stronger coalitions among federal, state, local and tribal communities, and redouble efforts to end domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking for men, women and children across the country.

"We know domestic violence is an epidemic that affects communities across this country regardless of age, race or socio-economic background," said Attorney General Eric Holder.  "We will continue to provide the resources necessary to help our law enforcement partners protect our neighborhoods against violence, and we stand ready to work with victim service providers who do so much to assist the survivors, families and children affected by this tragic crime."‬‪

"Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an important moment to recognize that we can all be agents of social change and end violence against women," said OVW Acting Director Catherine Pierce.  "In the fifteen years since the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law, countless lives have been saved, the voices of survivors have been heard and families have been protected.  We are proud of how far we have come but keenly aware that there is much to do.  The Office on Violence Against Women is proud to join our partners and grantees throughout the country to observe October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

OVW, a component of the Department of Justice, provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of VAWA and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

For more information, please visit www.ovw.usdoj.gov

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