WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that Vermont organizations will receive 10 grants totaling nearly $8.8 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support crime victims and strengthen services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The announcement comes as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close. Leahy worked to introduce a Senate resolution this week “expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should continue to support efforts to end domestic violence, provide safety for victims of domestic violence and their families, and hold perpetrators of domestic violence accountable.”
“Too many times I saw firsthand the aftermath of domestic violence while serving as a prosecutor,” Leahy said. “Victims and survivors of domestic violence must never suffer in the shadows. I am honored to again join this resolution raising awareness of domestic violence. And next the Senate should come together, as it did in 2013, to further improve and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which the House already passed with strong bipartisan support.” (Read the full text of the resolution).
Leahy, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is a longtime leader in efforts to protect funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), the two federal programs that provide direct support to victims. As a leading member of the Judiciary Committee, Leahy led in writing and enacting the VAWA reauthorization in 2013, and two years later he helped raise the cap on the Crime Victims Fund, allowing Vermont and other states to be eligible for more funding.
FY 2019 U.S Department of Justice Grants to Vermont:
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – Eight grants totaling $3.9 million:
• Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services (VCCVS), Waterbury: $394,929. The Sexual Assault Services Program grant provides states with formula funding to support rape crisis centers and other core services to victims of sexual assault throughout the state.
• Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, Waterbury: $834,980. STOP program funding to encourage partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts and victim service organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable.
VTDigger is underwritten by:
• Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Montpelier: $242,217. In support of state coalition efforts to coordinate victim services statewide and advance the goals of VAWA.
• Vermont Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs, Montpelier: $749,519. Improving the Criminal Justice Responses Program in support of domestic violence investigations and prosecutions in Windham and Bennington Counties.
• Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), Burlington: $285,500. Sexual Assault Services grant to create, maintain and expand services provided by culturally specific community-based organizations.
• Umbrella, Inc. and Community Partners, St. Johnsbury: $404,211. Transitional Housing Grant Assistance Program to provide 45 scattered site residences and supported services for survivors and their families through private landlord housing units.
• Project Against Violence Encounters and Community Partners, Bennington: $305,250. Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program.
• Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Voices Against Violence and Community Partners, $681,438. Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): Two grants totaling $4.9 million:
• Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, Waterbury: $4.71 million. Vermont allocation under the state victim assistance formula, funded through the federal Crime Victims Fund. Supported through federal fines and penalties rather than with taxpayer dollars, these funds enhance direct services to crime victims in Vermont and support victim advocates throughout Vermont.
• Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services: $181,000. Additional funding for direct compensation payments to eligible crime victims.