The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW ) today announced $12.6 million dollars in grants awarded to 20 communities as part of a new, consolidated program designed to more effectively reduce dating violence . For the first time, grantees can implement a comprehensive approach to dating violence that includes services for victims, prevention programs, partnering with schools and engaging men and boys in ending violence against women . OVW combined four separate grant programs into one, enabling more efficient, effective work and responding to the call for bold new initiatives from The Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.
Grantees of the Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Violence and Engaging Men and Boys as Allies will provide services to children and youth exposed to violence, training for professionals to improve interventions and responses, coordinated school-based strategies, supportive services for non-abusing parents and coordinated community responses. The Program also supports innovative prevention strategies that encourage men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West announced the grants to a room full of high school and college students at a White House event commemorating Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
“Teen dating violence is about our community, our schools and our relationships. And that means it’s about us. Each one of us, as well as, importantly, those of us who are men,” Acting Associate Attorney General West said. “As fathers, brothers, coaches, teachers and classmates – men’s voices must be part of this conversation – as men, both young and old, this is our individual and collective responsibility.”
Research shows that our nation’s teens and young adults experience particularly high rates of violence. One-in-ten 9th-12th grade students were physically hurt, on purpose, by a boyfriend or girlfriend in 2011. According to the latest CDC data, 80% of rape victims were raped for the first time before their 25th birthday. Many young people do not know where to turn for help. A 2008 study found that 67 percent of students who were abused in a relationship talked to a friend, but only 13 percent also talked to a parent or other adult.
“Every year, millions of children and adolescents across the United States are victimized and exposed to violence in their homes and neighborhoods, and often suffer severe, long-term emotional and physical consequences,” said Acting Director of OVW Bea Hanson. “As we work to help keep our children safe, we must view prevention and intervention as intertwined, not separate and distinct. This grant program is an essential part of our vision for safe and healthy communities, places where young people can grow to their fullest potential.”
Grantees will receive awards ranging from $350,000 to $1,000,000 based on the scope of their projects. The selected applicants are: Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Alaska; The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Alaska; Center for Hope and Healing, Mass.; Deaf Abused Women’s Network, Washington, D.C.; The Family Partnership, Minn.; Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services, N.C.; Jenesse Center Inc., Calif.; Jewish Women International, Inc., Washington, D.C.; HOPE Works, Vt.; Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis Inc., Conn.; Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Wash.; King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Wash.; Nashville Young Women’s Christian Association, Tenn.; Peace Over Violence, Calif.; Project Pave, Colo.; SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Texas; Wiconi Wawokiya Inc., S.D.; Youth Organizations Umbrella Inc., Ill.; and YWCA Knoxville, Tenn.
For more information on OVW and its programs, please visit: www.ovw.usdoj.gov .