Tribal Affairs

Violence Against Women in Indian Country | Tribal Coalitions Program | Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) | Other OVW Programs for Tribal Communities

In 2010, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 20 million violent and property victimizations, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). (NCJ 235508) These criminal victimizations included an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes defined as rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. Almost 126,000 of the 1.4 million serious violent crimes were rapes and assaults. While this number has decreased over the last few years it is still shows that too many women are endangered and suffering.

According to Amnesty International  “violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses. It is also one of the most hidden. It takes place in intimate relationships, within the family and at the hands of strangers and it affects women in every country in the world…. Indigenous peoples in the USA face deeply entrenched marginalization – the result of a long history of systemic and pervasive abuse and persecution. Sexual violence against Indigenous women today is informed and conditioned by this legacy of widespread and egregious human rights abuses.”

American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races, and one in three Indian women reports having been raped during her lifetime. (1)

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) currently administers 21 grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and subsequent legislation. These grant programs are designed to continue to develop the nation's capacity to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by strengthening services to victims and holding offenders accountable for their actions.  Presently four of these programs are targeted to Native American populations and tribes and are detailed within this section.

1 Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women
Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, US Department of Justice, 2000.

About Violence Against Women in Indian Country

The Grants to Indian Tribal Governments Program (Tribal Governments Program), authorized in Title IX of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), is designed to enhance the ability of tribes to respond to violent crimes against Indian women, enhance victim safety, and develop education and prevention strategies.
This program awards funds to:

Develop and enhance effective plans for tribal governments to respond to violence committed against Indian women;

Strengthen the tribal criminal justice system;

Improve services available to help Indian women who are victims of violence;

Create community education and prevention campaigns;

Address the needs of children who witness domestic violence;

Provide supervised visitation and safe exchange programs;

Provide transitional housing assistance; and

Provide legal advice and representation to survivors of violence who need assistance with legal issues caused by the abuse or the violence they suffered.

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About the Tribal Coalitions Program

The Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program (Tribal Coalitions Program), authorized in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000), builds the capacity of survivors, advocates, Indian women's organizations, and victim service providers to form nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions to end violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.

OVW's Tribal Coalitions Program grants are used to:

Increase awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking against American Indian and Alaska Native women;

Enhance the response to violence against women at the tribal, federal, and state levels; and

Identify and provide technical assistance to coalition membership and tribal communities to enhance access to essential services.

In Fiscal Year 2014, OVW’s Tribal Coalitions Program funded 13 new projects, totaling more than $5 million. OVW currently funds 18 Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions in 16 states. Since 2001, OVW has funded approximately 90 projects, totaling more than $29 million, for tribal coalitions strengthening partnerships for safer Indian communities.

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About the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS)

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the Justice Department launched the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). Through CTAS, federally-recognized tribes and tribal consortia are able – for the first time ever – to submit a single application for most of the Justice Department’s tribal grant programs. 

CTAS is designed to be a comprehensive approach that saves time and resources and allows tribes and the Justice Department to gain a better understanding of the Tribes’ overall criminal justice and public safety needs.

Through CTAS, the Office on Violence Against Women’s Tribal Governments Program enhances the ability of tribes to respond to violent crimes against Indian women, enhance victim safety and develop education and prevention strategies.  

For complete information about CTAS FY 2017, including the solicitation, FAQs and Fact Sheet, visit the Tribal Justice and Safety's open solicitations page and read the press release.  

Since FY 2010, more than 1,450 grants totaling more than $650 million have been provided to enhance law enforcement practices, victim services and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts in nine purpose areas:

  • Public safety and community policing (COPS Office)

  • Comprehensive Tribal Justice Systems Strategic Planning (BJA, OJJDP, OVC, COPS Office, OVW)

  • Justice systems and alcohol and substance abuse (BJA)

  • Corrections and correctional alternatives (BJA)

  • Violence Against Women Tribal Governments program (OVW)

  • Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities (OVC)

  • Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance program (OVC) 

  • Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts (OJJDP) 

  • Tribal Youth Program (OJJDP) 

    Office on Violence Against Women Grants to Tribal Governments Awards

    Fiscal Year

    Number of Award

    Total Amount Awarded

    2016 53 $33,647,321




















    For additional information about CTAS visit For a complete list of CTAS awards FY 2010 – FY 2105 visit

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About Other OVW Programs for Tribal Communities

The Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) is the first large-scale project to address the challenges dual/multi-service programs face in reaching sexual assault survivors by dedicating resources, support, and replicable tools tailored specifically to the needs of those programs. The SADI will develop a range of innovative outreach tools, service models, and agency structures to discover best practices and needed action in reaching more sexual assault survivors with comprehensive quality care. Selected sites will receive funding and technical assistance to:
Increase outreach to those populations most likely experiencing sexual assault in their communities but not currently accessing services;

Develop models of service provision that prioritize the needs of sexual assault survivors beyond immediate crisis responses currently offered; and

Assess and document the efficacy of those steps in increasing the numbers and types of sexual assault survivors who access those newly enhanced services.


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Updated November 15, 2017

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