Justice Department Observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The Justice Department joins law enforcement agencies, victim service providers, survivors, victims, advocates and communities nationwide in recognizing the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic violence is serious and prevalent, and its impact does not stay within the home; it ripples out into workplaces, schools and entire communities. DVAM is a time to show support for those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, and to give gratitude to first responders and victim service providers. DVAM encourages communities to bolster prevention efforts, improve responses to meet survivors’ needs, promote best practices and expand access to justice to all communities, especially for those who are underserved and marginalized.
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is announcing nearly $70 million in fiscal year 2022 grant funding, including 39 awards totaling $29,916,258 under OVW’s Improving Criminal Justice Responses (ICJR) to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program. The funding supports partnerships between victim service providers and the criminal justice system to implement effective and trauma-informed responses that protect survivors. The ICJR Program provides resources, training and service coordination for law enforcement, victim advocates, court personnel, probation and correction officers, mental health professionals, child protection staff and others who respond to and investigate domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking cases.
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month gives us the opportunity to share the incredible work our grantees do every day – and rededicate ourselves to the mission of bringing an end to violence,” said OVW Acting Director Allison Randall. “OVW changes the world through the lifesaving work of our grantees. This idea of a coordinated community response is the thread that runs through all grant programs funded by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It’s the way by which communities in every state and territory have charted navigable paths for survivors escaping violence and pursuing justice. Technical assistance provides grantees with the capacity to significantly improve safety in their communities. And research and evaluation give our grantees the innovative and effective strategies they need to better serve survivors.”
To equip service providers with the knowledge and skills they need to respond competently and compassionately when a survivor asks for their help, 59 awards totaling $36.9 million under the Training and Technical Assistance Program will assist OVW grantees in aligning their work with best practices. OVW grantees and subgrantees will receive expertise and support required to develop and implement successful projects. Illustrative of these efforts are two awards to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum to develop tools and trainings to identify gender bias in policing when responding to domestic violence and sexual assault.
OVW also awarded $3.4 million under the Research and Evaluation Initiative for nine projects to conduct evaluations of promising practices for combating domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and to research emerging issues. By generating knowledge about strategies for serving survivors, communities that benefit from OVW funding will be better equipped to align their work with proven practices and be more capable of building empirical knowledge on the efficacy of promising new ways of making communities safer and more just.
In the coming months, OVW will release new grant solicitations. OVW’s anticipated fiscal year 2023 solicitation release plan is posted on the website. Please note this information is subject to change. It is crucial that applicants begin preparing application materials as early as practicable – if possible, before solicitations are posted. For more information for grant applicants, see OVW’s how to apply for OVW funding website and resources for applicants website.
In recognition of DVAM, OVW also held a fireside chat with OVW Acting Director Randall and Deputy Director Nadine Neufville of OVW’s Grant Development and Management Division. OVW leadership discussed why DVAM is so important to department and the office, and acknowledged the important work of service providers and advocates in the field.
OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence 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. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at www.justice.gov/ovw.