06.09.09

Leahy Announces Grant For Vermont Network Against Domestic And Sexual Violence

. . . Network Director To Testify Wednesday

WASHINGTON - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence will receive  a federal grant of more than $156,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice.  The funds were provided in the  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. 

The grant was awarded by the Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women.  The funding will provide direct support and resources to the Network to raise public awareness and work with law enforcement, prosecution, and community organization to enhance their responses to victims of domestic and sexual violence.  On Wednesday, Leahy will chair a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to examine the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  The Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Karen Tronsgard-Scott, will testify at the hearing.

“Violence and abuse affect people from all walks of life every day, regardless of gender, race, culture, age, class, or sexuality,” said Leahy.  “Such violence is a crime, and it is always wrong, whether the abuser is a family member, a current or past spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, an acquaintance or a stranger. State sexual assault and domestic violence coalitions have played a critical role in the implementation of VAWA, leading the community’s response to end violence against women through collaboration with federal, state, and local organizations.  The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is a vital resource to Vermont victims and their families.  This grant will enable the Vermont Network to maintain staffing and provide much needed services during these difficult economic times.”

In May, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported the Improving Assistance to Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims Act, authored by Leahy, to strengthen key components of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.  Also earlier this year, Leahy chaired a hearing during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week to highlight the need for increased assistance for victims of crime with testimony from two Vermont witnesses. 

Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  He proposed including resources for federal law enforcement and victim assistance grant programs in the recovery and investment package enacted earlier this year.

Wednesday’s hearing will be webcast live online.                             

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