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Faith-based & Community Initiatives

Topics of Interest

Domestic Violence

Introduction

According the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey, there were more than 500,000 victims of domestic violence in the United States . The Department works primarily through the Office on Violence Against Women to help communities to hold offenders accountable for their conduct and to bring aid to victims and their families. To learn more about domestic/family violence and other violent crimes against women, click here.

Programs

The President's Family Justice Center Initiative

Family Justice Center Initiative

The President's Family Justice Center Initiative, unveiled by President Bush in October 2003, is an unprecedented pilot program that will make a victim's search for help and justice more efficient and effective by bringing professionals who provide an array of necessary services together under one roof. The Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women is the lead agency on this pilot program intended to develop comprehensive domestic violence victim service and support centers in 15 communities across the country. To view a fact sheet on the Initiative, clickhere. To read Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' remarks at the opening of the St. Louis Family Justice Center on January 12, 2006, click here.

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Civil Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program

The Civil Legal Assistance for Victims Grants program is designed to strengthen legal assistance programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These programs provide victims with representation and legal advocacy in family, immigration, administrative agency, or housing matters, protection or stay-away order proceedings, and other similar matters.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants under this program to Indian tribal governments, faith-based and other community-based victim services programs, law school legal clinics and other legal services organizations that assist victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Click here to learn more about the program.

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Education and Technical Assistance Grants to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities

The Education and Technical Assistance Grants to End Violence Against and Abuse of Women with Disabilities Program is designed to improve services to individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Grantees provide training, consultation, and information to service providers, including independent living centers, disability-related service organizations, and domestic violence programs providing shelter or related assistance about responding to violence against women who are individuals with disabilities.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants under this program to States, units of local government, Indian tribal governments, and nongovernmental private entities, including faith-based and other community organizations. Click here to learn more about the program.

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Transitional Housing Assistance Grants Program

The Transitional Housing Assistance Grant Program supports organizations that provide assistance to individuals who are in need of transitional housing or housing assistance, as a result of fleeing a situation of domestic violence, and for whom emergency shelter services or other crisis intervention services are unavailable or insufficient. Grants may be used for programs that provide short-term housing assistance, including rental or utilities payment assistance and assistance with related expenses, and support services designed to enable individuals to locate and secure permanent housing, as well as integrate into a community. Grantees provide a broad range of individualized services such as transportation, counseling, childcare services, case management, employment counseling, and other assistance.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants to state governments, local units of government, Indian tribal governments, and nongovernmental private entities, including faith-based and other community organizations. Click here to learn more about this program.

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Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program is designed to encourage state, local, and tribal governments and state, local, and tribal courts to treat domestic violence as a serious violation of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system. Grant funds may be used for implementing mandatory or pro-arrest programs and policies; developing policies and training in criminal justice agencies to improve tracking of domestic violence and dating violence cases; and creating centralized domestic violence units consisting of police, prosecution, or other criminal justice agencies.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women requires grantees to collaborate with victim advocates from faith-based and secular nonprofit, nongovernmental domestic violence programs, including local shelters, victim advocacy organizations, and domestic violence coalitions, to ensure that victim safety is a paramount consideration in the development of any strategy to address domestic violence. Click here to learn more about the program.

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Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus

The Campus Program is designed to strengthen the higher education community's response to sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence crimes on campuses, and to enhance collaboration between campuses and local criminal justice and victim advocacy organizations. Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women requires grantees to link their programs to local criminal justice agencies and service providers, including local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, courts, and faith-based and secular nonprofit, nongovernmental victim advocacy and victim services agencies. This coordinated community response is intended to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable. Click here to learn more about the program.

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Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grants

The Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program is designed to enhance services available to rural victims and children by encouraging community involvement in developing a coordinated response to domestic violence, dating violence, and child abuse.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants to state and local governments and public and private entities, including faith-based and other community organizations, of states considered under the Violence Against Women Act as rural. Local governments and public and private entities, including faith-based and other community organizations serving rural jurisdictions in states that are not considered rural under the Violence Against Women Act must apply through their state government. Click here to learn more about the program.

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Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program

The Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program helps create safe places for visitation with and the exchange of children in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants to States, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments that propose to enter into contracts with public and private nonprofit entities, including faith-based and other community organizations, to provide supervised visitation and safe visitation exchange of children in such cases. Click here to learn more about this program.

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STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program

STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants are intended to develop and strengthen a state's criminal justice system's response to violence against women and to support and enhance services for victims. Each state and territory must allocate 25 percent of the grant funds to law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, 5 percent to courts, and 30 percent to victim services. The remaining 15 percent is discretionary within the parameters of the Violence Against Women Act. Click here to learn more about this program.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards STOP Formula Grants to each state government, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territorial governments. Faith-based and other community organizations may apply for funding from their state government to provide victim services. More information on program requirements and eligibility can be obtained by contacting the state agency that administers this grant program.

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STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Grants Program

The STOP Violence Against Indian Women Grants are intended to develop and strengthen tribal law enforcement and prosecution efforts to combat violence against Native women and to develop and enhance services for victims of such crimes.

The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants to Indian tribal governments. Indian tribal governments are required to collaborate with a faith-based or secular nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services provider. Click here to learn more about this program.

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Training Grants to Stop Abuse and Sexual Assault Against Older Individuals or Individuals with Disabilities Program

The Training Grants to Stop Abuse and Sexual Assault Against Older Individuals or Individuals with Disabilities Program is designed to train law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and court personnel to recognize, address, investigate, and prosecute cases of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and violence against or individuals with disabilities, including domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants to state governments; Indian tribal governments; units of local government; state or local government agencies; and private non-profit victim services, victim advocacy or service organizations for older individuals or individuals with disabilities, including faith-based and other community organizations. Click here to learn more about this program.

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Victims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program

Victims of Crime Act formula grants are intended to support victim assistance services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, drunk driving, homicide, and other crimes.

  • The Office for Victims of Crime awards grants to each state government, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territorial governments. Faith-based and other community organizations may apply for funds from their state government to provide victim services. A list of state agencies that administer these funds can be obtained by clicking here.

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Violence Against Older Women Education Project

This program builds the capacity of a range of professionals to respond to and work with older victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. This program is designed to develop a series of videotapes and accompanying discussion guides on domestic violence and/or sexual assault against older women. The video series would include a general video for all audiences that highlights an overall community response to one or both of these crimes, as well as additional videos that would target specific professional groups (e.g., victim advocates/service providers, health care providers, faith community leaders, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or judges). Funding is provided for an 18-month period, with an additional 18 months possible contingent upon satisfactory performance and the availability of funds.

  • The Office for Victims of Crime awards grants under this program to nonprofit organizations or public agencies, including faith-based and other community organizations. Click here to learn more about this program and other programs administered by the Office for Victims of Crime.

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Violence Against Women Training and Technical Assistance Program

The Violence Against Women Training and Technical Assistance Program provides Office on Violence Against Women grantees and others in the field with the training, expertise, and problem-solving strategies they need to meet the challenges of addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The primary purpose of this program is to provide direct assistance to grantees and sub-grantees to enhance the success of local projects they are implementing with VAWA grant funds. In addition, the Office on Violence Against Women is focused on building the capacity of criminal justice and victim services organizations to respond effectively to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and to foster partnerships between organizations that have not traditionally worked together to address violence against women.

  • The Office on Violence Against Women awards grants or cooperative agreements under this program to non-profit organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations.

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Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)    1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) serves as the only center in the nation that provides information regarding 5000 local and nationwide shelters and service providers available for victims, friends and family who often call for life saving help. The Hotline operates 24 hours a day in more than 140 languages with a TTY line available for the deaf.

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The Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) handles the Department's legal and policy issues regarding violence against women and provides national and international leadership on violence against women issues. OVW administers grant programs authorized under the Violence Against Women Act and has awarded more than $1 billion in grant funds, making over 1,250 discretionary grants and over 350 STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) formula grants to the states and territories. This Web site provides information on violent crimes against women, including domestic violence, state coalitions against domestic violence, and where victims and their families may get help.

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Office of Women's Health

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health is the government's champion and focal point for women's health issues, and works to redress inequities in research, health care services, and education that have historically placed the health of women at risk. The Office on Women's Health coordinates women's health efforts within HHS to eliminate disparities in health status and supports culturally sensitive educational programs that encourage women to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellness. Violence Against Women is a major health problem and is therefore an area of activity for the Office on Women's Health. Click here to learn more.

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