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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

Birmingham, Ala. – U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona joins the U.S. Department of Justice in commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).  DVAM provides an opportunity to honor victims and survivors, and recognize the dedication of advocates, service providers, justice professionals, law enforcement officers, and first responders who tirelessly work in support of survivors. 

The prevalence of domestic violence, dating violence, and intimate partner violence is alarming.  Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes.  Nearly 20 percent of all violent crime is categorized as domestic violence, as revealed by the 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

“Domestic violence tears at the fabric of our communities and affects every demographic of society,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “People who commit violence within their homes are often also the same people who commit violent crimes in our communities.  My office along with our federal, state, and local partners remain committed to protecting victims of violence.”  

An abuser’s access to firearms is the single greatest risk factor for intimate partner homicide. The presence of a firearm during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide 500%. 

Federal firearm laws prohibit gun possession for domestic abusers.  These firearm laws can be used to prosecute abusers – often without the testimony of victims, who may be hesitant to testify in a court proceeding against their abuser.  The pertinent federal laws that may relate to domestic violence crimes fall into two broad categories: 

  • Crimes under the Gun Control Act, which prevents prohibited persons – including convicted felons, individuals previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses, and individuals subject to certain protective orders—from possessing firearms, or from lying to firearms dealers about their status
  • Crimes under the Violence Against Women Act, which prohibits interstate stalking, cyber stalking, and using interstate commerce to commit domestic violence or violate protective orders 

The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women has awarded One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center (One Place) $800,000 to support its mission as the comprehensive service provider for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Jefferson County. The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) and the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) partnered with One Place in its application to enhance services to survivors of domestic violence in Jefferson County. The award comes to One Place through OVW’s Improving Criminal Justice Responses grant program. Since 2022, the Department of Justice has committed more than $1.6 million of funding for new projects to address domestic violence within the Northern District of Alabama.

In October 2020, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama launched Operation Safe Families to bring federal law enforcement alongside local victim service providers, state and local law enforcement, and local prosecutors to better respond to the needs of victims of domestic violence and the threats presented to the community by domestic violence offenders. Not only do domestic violence offenders often terrorize former intimate partners, national and local crime data confirms that domestic violence offenders present extreme risks to law enforcement officers and are often responsible for significant amounts of violent crimes in Alabama communities.

If you would like more information about Operation Safe Families visit or to receive training or resources related to domestic violence, please contact the U.S Attorney’s Office at 205.244.2015.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or need resources, please visit:

Updated October 30, 2023

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