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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 22, 2014

Attorney General Holder Announces $2.6 Million in Grants for Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Justice Department has selected four sites to receive a total of $2.6 million in grants to implement promising models aimed at reducing domestic violence homicides.  Over the next two years, these sites—Pitt County, North Carolina; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Contra Costa County, California; and the Borough of Brooklyn, New York—will institute screening models and evidence-based strategies that will allow them to anticipate potentially lethal behavior, take steps to stop the escalation of violence, and – ultimately – save lives.  The National Institute of Justice will conduct an evaluation of the models in each of the selected sites to identify the key components needed to successfully adapt the domestic violence homicide prevention models nationwide.

“Domestic violence is more than a crime against just the victim,” said Attorney General Holder in a video message posted on the Justice Department’s website.  “It is a crime against all of us as a society.  And our collective response must treat it as such.”

The complete text of the Attorney General’s video message is below:

“Domestic violence is a devastating crime that claims far too many lives.  Studies have shown that, on average, three women die every day in America at the hands of their partner or ex-partner.  And from 2009 to 2012, 40 percent of mass shootings started with the killer targeting a girlfriend, wife, or ex-wife.  These are tragic and shocking statistics, and the Justice Department is working hard to bring an end to this horrific status quo. 

“Under the Violence Against Women Act, which was reauthorized last year, the Department of Justice is taking vital action to protect and empower women and partners who are being exploited and abused.  Through our Office on Violence Against Women, we are working to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable by promoting a coordinated community response.  And in the reauthorized Act, this Administration helped to secure important new protections for women in Indian Country, LGBT individuals, and others.

“These are important achievements – but we must do more.  That’s why, in 2013, I was proud to stand with Vice President Biden to unveil a new grant-funded initiative to help reduce domestic violence homicides.  This funding provided twelve communities– in states across the country – with the opportunity to reduce domestic violence homicides by effectively identifying potential victims and monitoring high-risk offenders. 

“And today, I am pleased to announce that four sites have been selected to receive a total of $2.6 million to implement promising models aimed at reducing domestic violence homicides.  In Pitt County, North Carolina; in Cuyahoga County, Ohio; in Contra Costa County, California; and in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York – these two-year awards will make a tremendous difference, helping local officials to put their anti-violence initiatives into practice.

“In that time, they will institute screening models and evidence-based strategies that will allow them to anticipate potentially lethal behavior, take steps to stop the escalation of violence, and – ultimately – save lives.  These innovative programs can then be studied and replicated in order to protect those who are at risk – and stop would-be abusers – across the United States.

“We have come a long way since the time when these incidents of abuse were considered private, household matters.   But we have a ways to go still.  Domestic violence is more than a crime against just the victim.  It is a crime against all of us as a society.  And our collective response must treat it as such.

“Going forward, the Justice Department will continue to build our important efforts to end violence against women and girls – no matter who they are or where they live – because all Americans deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes, on their college campuses, and on the streets of our communities.

“As we strive to end the epidemic of domestic and intimate partner violence, all of us have a great deal of work to do.  But this Administration, this Department of Justice – and I personally – will not waver in that effort: to shine a light on violence and abuse; to protect and empower women; and to make domestic violence homicide a thing of the past.”

The full video of the Attorney General’s message is available at http://www.justice.gov/agwa.php.

14-1009
Updated September 24, 2014