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Statement of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on the Resignation of Diane M. Stuart, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today issued the following statement on the resignation of Diane M. Stuart, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women:

“Since 2001, Diane Stuart has been a strong advocate for, and defender of, women and families throughout the Nation,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “Her leadership in implementing President Bush’s Family Justice Center Initiative is a tremendous achievement that will have an ongoing, positive impact on the lives of women, men and children hurt by domestic violence. Diane’s service to women and families has made a tremendous difference in countless lives across America.”

Diane M. Stuart was appointed as Director of the Office on Violence Against Women by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. During her tenure with the Justice Department, Stuart was responsible for implementing the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative, through which $20 million was awarded to 15 sites to develop co-located services for victims of domestic violence. Currently, 11 family justice centers around the country are in operation, and all 15 centers will be open by the close of 2006. An important focus of Stuart’s work has been promoting a coordinated community response, facilitating the collaboration of law enforcement, advocacy groups and members of the community in addressing the problem of domestic violence.

As Director, Stuart also succeeded, among other things, in establishing training “institutes” for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement; developing the Safety for Indian Women Initiative; leading the office in the development and implementation of the Judicial Demonstration Oversight Initiative, the “Greenbook” Initiative, and the Supervised Visitation Demonstration Program; and increasing the number of grant and cooperative agreement awards by 50 percent.

Stuart will resign from the Department of Justice in October, and plans to return to her home state of Utah.