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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Justice Department Commemorates National Domestic Violence Awareness Month Office on Violence Against Women Invests More Than $476 Million in Grants to Address Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking The Justice Department joins law enforcement partners, victim services professionals, advocates, and communities across the country in observing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and announces more than $476 million in Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) grants. The funding supports projects that meaningfully address the needs of underserved and marginalized survivors, improve access to justice, enhance survivor safety, hold accountable those who have caused harm, and provide training and technical assistance to an array of professionals and systems working to address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in every state and territory, as well as dozens of tribal communities. “Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a sobering reminder of the harm domestic violence inflicts across our country, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic means that for many survivors, abuse may be compounded by being isolated with an abuser, loss of income, and stress over the virus itself,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “These OVW grants will provide local organizations with resources to support survivors as they heal, promote victim access to justice, and further local, state, and tribal training efforts to best prepare officials to respond to these dangerous calls.” “The grant awards we make this year will not only touch the lives of millions of survivors of domestic violence but also help our nation prevent and end sexual assault and stalking,” said Acting Director Allison Randall of OVW. “OVW is proud to be the leading federal voice in the country’s fight against these devastating crimes. Grant awards announced today will fund victim services, culturally specific responses, legal assistance, law enforcement, and prosecution services, and court practices, as well as training and technical assistance to an array of professionals who help survivors every day.”

In addition to administering grant

Funds being awarded this year by OVW

funding, the department is combatting

formula grant programs include:

domestic and sexual violence in local and tribal communities on other

Services, Training, Officers,

fronts. The department has outlined a

Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against

comprehensive strategy to address

Women Formula Grant Program:

violent crime, which asked U.S.

$153.1 million awarded to all states

Attorneys to evaluate the current

and territories to support

drivers of violent crime in their regions,

communities, including American

including domestic violence, and to

Indian tribes and Alaska Native

develop strategies to address these

villages, in their efforts to develop and

drivers. OVW’s announcement today of

strengthen effective responses to

over $476 million in grants is a key part

domestic violence, dating violence,

of that strategy. In addition, on Sept.

sexual assault and stalking. The STOP

20, the department’s Office of Justice

Formula Grant Program – authorized

Programs announced more than $1.2

by the Violence Against Women Act of

billion in Fiscal Year 2021 Victims of

1994 and subsequent legislation –

Crime Act funding. In his Domestic

requires that 30% of funds be

Violence Awareness Month

allocated for victim services, of which

proclamation, President Joseph R.

at least 10% must be distributed to

Biden, the original author of the

culturally specific, community-based

Violence Against Women Act, called on

organizations. No less than 25% of a

all Americans to reaffirm their

state’s formula funding must be

commitment to ending this violence,

allocated for law enforcement, 25% for

and in his Fiscal Year 2022 budget,

prosecution and 5% to courts.

proposed a historic $1 billion for grant programs administered by OVW.

Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) Formula Grant Programs: $28.2 million awarded to states and territories for direct intervention and related assistance for victims of sexual assault. The SASP Formula Grant Program directs grant dollars to states and territories to assist them in supporting rape crisis centers and other nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations or tribal programs that provide services, direct intervention and related assistance to victims of sexual assault. Funds provided through SASP are designed to supplement other funding sources directed at addressing sexual assault

Tribal Coalitions Program: $6.1 million

on the state and territorial level.

awarded to support 18 nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal domestic violence

State and Territorial Coalitions

and sexual assault coalitions. Tribal

Program: $15.1 million awarded to

coalitions provide education, support, and

fund 87 state and territorial domestic

technical assistance to tribal victim service

violence and sexual assault coalitions

providers and tribes to enhance their

(determined by the Department of

response to victims of domestic violence,

Health and Human Services) to

dating violence, sexual assault, stalking,

coordinate victim services activities.

and sex trafficking.

These coalitions support member rape

For more information about these grants,

crisis centers, domestic violence

please see OVW’s Formula Grant

shelters and other victim service

Programs fact sheet.

providers through funding, training and technical assistance, public awareness activities, and public policy advocacy.

Improving Criminal Justice Responses:

Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men: $9

$30.8 million awarded to 41 programs that

million awarded to 20 programs to provide

address a wide range of support across the

services and training to address the needs of

criminal justice system so that domestic

children and youth impacted by domestic

violence, dating violence, sexual assault,

violence, dating violence, sexual assault and

and stalking are treated as serious

stalking; and engage men to prevent violence

violations of criminal law requiring the

against women and girls. See the

coordinated involvement of the entire

Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men

criminal justice system and partnerships

Program fact sheet.

with victim service providers. See the Improving Criminal Justice Responses

Culturally Specific Services: $6.8 million

Program fact sheet.

awarded to 23 projects to increase communities’ capacity to provide culturally

Campus Program: $16.2 million awarded

specific resources and support for victims;

to 52 programs to support a wide range of

provide culturally specific resources and

projects that develop a comprehensive

services that address the safety, economic,

coordinated community approach to

housing and workplace needs of victims;

domestic violence, dating violence, sexual

provide training for law enforcement,

assault and stalking on campuses that

prosecution, courts, probation and

enhances victim safety, provides services

correctional facilities on culturally specific

and support for victims, and supports

responses; and examine the dynamics of

efforts to hold offenders accountable. See

culture and its impact on victimization and

the Campus Program fact sheet.

healing. See the Culturally Specific Services fact sheet.

Justice for Families: $13.6 million awarded to 24 projects to improve the response of the civil and criminal justice systems to families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse, including by supporting court-based programs, supervised visitation and safe exchange of children, training for court personnel, and civil legal services. See the Justice for Families Program fact sheet.

Underserved Program: $4.9 million awarded to 11 programs to develop or enhance services for populations or implement outreach strategies targeted at adult or youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking in underserved populations, who often face challenges in accessing victim services that are accessible, culturally relevant, and responsive to their needs. See the Underserved Program fact sheet. Disabilities Program: $4.1 million awarded to 10 programs to provide a range of resources including personnel, training, technical assistance, advocacy, intervention, risk reduction, and prevention to disabled victims, and to develop model programs. See the Disability Grant Program fact sheet. Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Program: $4 million awarded to 14 programs to create, maintain and expand sustainable sexual assault services provided by organizations that are uniquely situated to respond to the needs of sexual assault victims from culturally specific populations. See the Sexual Assault Services Culturally Specific Program fact sheet. Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program: $3.8 million awarded to 10 programs to support the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of programs and projects within Indian country and Alaska Native villages to assist those victimized by sexual assault. See the Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program fact sheet. Research and Evaluation Initiative: $2.3 million awarded to seven projects on a range of topics including measuring effectiveness of a wide breadth of funded activities, including victim services, policing, prosecution, and court responses. See the Research and Evaluation Initiative Solicitation. Abuse in Later Life: $1.4 million awarded to four programs to provide training, establish and support multidisciplinary collaborative community responses, provide and enhance services for victims, and conduct outreach and awareness campaigns to support projects that provide a comprehensive approach to addressing elder abuse. See the Abuse in Later Life Program fact sheet.

National Tribal Clearinghouse on Sexual Assault: $1 million awarded to one program to establish, sustain and expand a repository that provides resources, training opportunities, educational materials, and technical assistance on issues relating to sexual assault of American Indian and Alaska Native women. Resource Center on Workplace Responses to Assist Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence Program: $1 million awarded to one program to manage the National Resource Center on Workplace Responses, which provides information, resources, tools, and technical assistance to employers and labor organizations to better equip them to respond to victims. These efforts address the needs of employees in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking impacting the workplace.

Special Domestic Violence Jurisdiction Program: $733,691 awarded to two programs to assist Indian tribes in planning, implementing, and exercising “special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction” to hold accountable non-Indians who commit crimes of domestic violence or dating violence or violate certain protection orders in Indian country. For more information, see the Tribal Jurisdiction Program fact sheet. Training and Technical Assistance Program: $36.2 million awarded to 65 programs that provide training, expertise, and problem-solving strategies to meet the challenges of addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Technical assistance projects offer in-person and online educational opportunities, peer-to-peer consultations, on-site technical assistance, and tailored assistance for OVW grantees and potential grantees. In more limited circumstances, OVW's technical assistance projects offer technical assistance to a small number of pilot sites as part of demonstration initiatives or assessments of newly developed training curricula or tools. For more information, please visit OVW’s Training and Technical Assistance website.




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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — To break the cycle of domestic violence, we must look at where the cycle begins. Children are often forgotten about when it comes to domestic abuse. Yet, abuse experts and studies show children who witness physical and verbal abuse at home are more likely to repeat those behaviors as adults. Studies show girls are six times more likely to experience sexual abuse, while boys are 10 times more likely to become abusers. Nicole Nordan, the YWCA counseling director, says that’s because so much of our behavior is learned. “A child gets a distorted view of what love is. So, when it comes to sexual assault and domestic violence. Its ‘love equals this,'” Nordan said. A team of YWCA counselors says they are here to help. They have support groups and one-on-one sessions available for children healing from abuse and trauma. “It’s never too late to talk to somebody. To break those patterns that lead to this. Not because it’s the victim’s fault but because they can strengthen skills to realize how amazing, how strong, how brave, how beautiful inside and out they are. No matter what their partner could be saying about them and how they could be making them feel during different times in their relationship,” she said. Nordan adds children who are exposed to abuse are more likely to have impacts that last a lifetime.

“Self-esteem and self-worth issues, as well as, boundaries, learning boundaries, and attachment. Just really wanting to feel safe and loved. They may hyper-focus in the areas that they saw the problems that they were exposed to and ignore other things. Or never get the help that they need,” she said. Children who go without the care they need could have lasting mental health problems. “The effects children feel from witnessing or being exposed to abuse are related to shame, blame, and guilt. How did I cause this? What did I do? That leads to adulthood. When they are in the first unhealthy relationship. Their default becomes what did I do? Because even as a child they were blaming themselves. That’s how they stay in that cycle. It’s me, I’m the problem,” she said. Santina Proctor grew up in an abusive household. She witnessed her mother get attacked by her boyfriend nearly every day.

“As kids, you find a way to say, ‘Hey if I would have made my bed it wouldn’t have been an argument. If I would have taken out the trash it would have been okay.’ The truth is an abuser has an issue and they need help. It has nothing to do with the person that they are abusing. It has nothing to do with you as a child,” she said. The scenes of beatings and blood still haunt her. “There was a time he bashed her head into our glass kitchen table. It was blood just pouring out of her head,” she recalled. Proctor said she called 911 just one time. “I remember my mom telling me ‘Don’t call the police, you could have got me in trouble.’ That really hurt me,” she said.

To cope with the extreme abuse. Proctor believes her mother turned to drugs. “It was a lot of trauma but it was normal. It was every day. This is what it’s like being Sandras daughter. Kind of, I guess got used to it.” Then when she was just 7 years old, her mother died. Proctor believes drugs played a role. Unfortunately, her mother never got a chance to escape the abuse, and no one was ever charged. “She was just everything. She was just an amazing woman who didn’t know that she was amazing. She didn’t know it. She had no idea how beautiful she was on the inside and out,” she said.

Proctor, however, broke that cycle. She went on to a career in the military and is now a teacher. “I am the generational curse slayer for my family. Every woman on my mother’s side of the family — my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins — all have been in abusive relationships,” she explained. Two decades after her mother’s death, she started to process the trauma through writing and short documentaries. “When I started writing, people started reading and I realized it’s a lot of people out there that need help and an outlet,” Proctor said.

So, she created a way for people to vent on a blog. Then she started a nonprofit organization. “So when I started to write I said, ‘Well, it’s not my fault that’s what I’ll call it. It’s not your fault and 1991 is the year my mother passed away. It kind of just all came together,” she said. Her organization offers emergency shelter and some financial help as the family transitions. She wants people to consider children are sometimes the survivors. “I see ‘it’s not your fault’ as… it’s a voice. I think that is what I’m supposed to do. I want my mom’s name to live forever. I don’t want her death to be in vain,” she said.

Her message now… “If you can’t do it for you, for whatever reason. That you don’t feel that you are worthy, or you can’t make it on your own. Leave for those children. The children know what’s going on. We are affected by it. It’s important to get out. You can get out.”


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Inspirational Corner

“It is turning around for you! It will not take years, months or even weeks. Expect a sudden shift, a wave of favor like never before!”

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The City of Montgomery and the One Place Family Justice Center will announce a new safety initiative Wednesday with Ring. The initiative will provide 500 security alarms and camera devices to domestic violence victims.

The One Place Family Justice Center’s mission is to provide a comprehensive service and support center for victims of domestic violence by bringing access to different agencies and help available all into one place. It’s a place where victims can plan for their safety, have an advocate, talk with a police officer, meet with a prosecutor, obtain information on shelters, and obtain sexual assault services.

A part of this initiative, victims who One Place Family Justice Center assesses can choose between a camera or alarm and include an installation process that is convenient and accessible to victims. The devices serve as an increased safety measure for persons living in imminent danger.

“We are proud to partner with Amazon’s Ring and One Place Family Justice Center to bring this proven program to Montgomery. These devices generously donated by Ring will leverage the latest technology as a force multiplier to help protect victims and residents at high risk of experiencing sexual assault and domestic violence in our region,” said Marjorie Baker, Executive Director of One Place Family Justice Center.

Baker hopes the initiative will help decrease

One Place has four onsite partners – intake

the number of violent crimes, a trend

specialists with the Montgomery Co. District

increasing across the nation.

Attorney’s Office; Investigators with the Montgomery Police Department – Domestic

“The Ring Project will be a lifesaving tool for

Violence (DV) Unit; Attorneys with Legal

victims of domestic violence and sexual

Services Alabama, Inc., and law students

assault,” Baker said.

with the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

“Victims who are being stalked and threatened will have immediate information

In addition to having access to

and evidence if someone who may have

Montgomery’s Magistrate, One Place

been court-ordered to stay away shows up

partners with nearly 30 organizations and

at their home.”

agencies that support the reduction of homicides, increase safety, empower victims, reduce recantation and depreciation, and wrap the victim in services – holding offenders accountable.


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