Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Thank you, Allison – and good afternoon everyone, I am thrilled to be with you all virtually today for the public launch of two new resources from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW): the National Violence Against Women Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium – or, LETTAC for short – and the Domestic Violence Resource for Increasing Safety and Connection, or “DV RISC.”
Reducing violent crime is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and combating domestic violence and sexual assault are important parts of the department’s comprehensive strategy to reduce violent crime.
We cannot reduce, prevent or end violence without providing law enforcement agencies with the tools, training and resources they need.
This is why I am proud to introduce LETTAC, a new tool to help law enforcement agencies best respond to, investigate and ultimately prevent domestic violence and intimate partner violence by delivering innovative and evolving training and technical assistance to grantees and the field in a more efficient, effective manner.
LETTAC is grounded in a commitment to support law enforcement so they can better serve victims and survivors. It provides law enforcement – including police and sheriffs’ offices as well as prosecutors, civilian staff and campus police – with the ability to respond to intimate partner violence and domestic violence cases in a trauma-informed, survivor-centered manner.
Domestic violence and sexual assault calls can be challenging and dangerous, so setting law enforcement up for success before responding to these calls is critically important for the safety of officers and civilians. LETTAC will also provide support for underserved communities, including those in rural and tribal jurisdictions.
I am also honored to introduce DV RISC, a national resource center specifically designed to help jurisdictions prevent domestic violence homicides. Domestic violence homicide reduction must be comprehensive, equitable and meet the unique needs of law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
DV RISC helps jurisdictions meet this challenge: it includes a wide variety of tools for multi-disciplinary teams interested in developing or enhancing their responses to domestic violence incidents in their community – for example, tools that can assist in evaluating risk and lethality. By providing assessment and customized support, DV RISC will help identify and implement strategies that work – strategies that save lives of our neighbors, friends and loved ones.
Importantly, DV RISC is led and informed by individuals who have been impacted by intimate partner violence and domestic violence homicides. Centering survivors’ voices is crucial for this work to be effective.
It is important to also recognize that this is the last full week of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Unfortunately, we know that too many young people witness and experience intimate partner violence in their homes and schools. That is why these resources are critical to keeping our homes and communities safer.
At the Department of Justice, we are committed to the safety of our communities. By transforming training and technical assistance – making it easier for law enforcement to obtain required training, maximizing resources, minimizing duplication and promoting collaboration – LETTAC supports the department’s effort to reduce violent crime, and OVW’s mission to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
I want to thank OVW’s Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program team, the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, the Center for Court Innovation, AEquitas, Ujima, and Esperanza United for their dedicated work and collaboration on these resources.
And thank you all for the work you do to help survivors and protect and serve your communities every day.
With that, I’ll turn it over to you, Darlene. Thanks again.