Leahy Announces $9.3 M. In Grants To Support VT CRIME VICTIMS and DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS

Leahy Announces $9.3 Million in Grants
To Support Vermont Crime Victims
And Domestic Violence Survivors

Rural grants will reach underserved populations

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday announced that Vermont will receive $9.3 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to support victims of crime throughout the state, including survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The funding includes 12 separate federal grants that will address a wide range of needs. Leahy, a former prosecutor, has long been the Senate’s leading champion for crime victims. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Justice Department, Leahy was instrumental two years ago in raising the cap on the Crime Victims Fund, which supports several victim assistance programs. Leahy’s success in raising the cap has led to a three-fold annual increase in funding, totaling $4.7 million this year. The Fund is supported through federal fines and penalties, and not with taxpayer dollars.

Leahy said: “As a former prosecutor I know something about what crime victims go through, and about the need for this help. When someone is the victim of a random street crime or a hit-and-run accident, they should not have to worry about how to pay their medical bills. When a woman flees her abuser, she needs a safe place to live, and a safe place for her children as well.”

When Leahy led the effort to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013, he succeeded in expanding protections to include LGBT, immigrant and tribal populations not previously supported by VAWA. This year’s grants include funding to reach victims in rural areas who otherwise may not have sought the help they need. Leahy steered his VAWA bill through the Judiciary and through the Senate, and then won its approval by the House.

Leahy said: “A victim should not have to worry about reporting a sexual assault if they are gay or lesbian, or because they can’t communicate due to language or other cultural differences. A victim is a victim is a victim, and all victims deserve the right to these services.”

Leahy made the announcement in Middlebury, where he was joined by Vermont victims’ advocates and service providers. The $9.3 million comes from two sources of funding within the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA): Two grants totaling $5 million to the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services. The bulk of this, $4.7 million, is Vermont’s allocation under the state victim assistance formula from the Crime Victims Fund. These grants also support victim advocates in state’s attorneys’ offices.
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Ten grants totaling $4.3 million for domestic and sexual violence programs around the state. These include rural grants to reach victims in underserved populations.

A full listing of all 12 grants follows (BELOW).

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FY 2016 U.S. Department Of Justice
Crime Victim And Domestic Violence Grants To Vermont

12 Grants Total $9.3 Million

Office on Violence Against Women Grants (Violence Against Women Act)

10 grants totaling $4.3 million:

  • WomenSafe, Inc., Middlebury: $346,740 transitional housing grant to provide assistance and support to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, with goal of moving victims to permanent housing. Will provide up to 83 housing sites for survivors and families through agreements with private landlords.
  • Middlebury College, Middlebury: $299,305 Campus Program grant to work with community partners to develop campus-based coordinated responses to enhance victim services and combat violent crime against students on campus.
  • Voices Against Violence/Laurie’s House, St. Albans: $664,551 Rural grant. Working with project partners, VAV will address unmet needs of victims with mental health and substance abuse issues in rural areas of Grand Isle and Franklin Counties. Administered through Champlain Office of Economic Opportunity.
  • Pride Center of Vermont, Burlington: $300,000 for outreach and services to underserved populations. Working with community partners, this project aims to increase LGBTQ comprehensive violence services in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison Counties.
  • Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services (statewide): $827,087 STOP grant (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution), to encourage partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts and victim services.
  • HOPE Works, Burlington: $682,384 to support programs to address children and youth experiencing domestic and sexual assault, including training for schools and social service providers and enhanced mental health services.
  • Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (statewide): $239,532 for grants to Vermont’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program.
  • Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Burlington: $326,817 to develop culturally specific services including crisis intervention, case management, outreach, and mental health services, for African immigrant women and families.
  • Project Against Violent Encounters (PAVE), Bennington: $264,529 Rural Program award to strengthen community responses to domestic violence, dating violence and stalking-related crimes. Working in partnership with Department of Corrections and Manchester Police Department.
  • Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services (statewide): $347,374 Sexual Assault Services program grant for direct intervention and assistance to victims.

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grants

2 grants totaling $5 million:

  • Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services: $4.72 million award from the Crime Victims Fund to enhance crime victim services statewide.
  • Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services: $274,000 for state victim compensation payments.

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