07.14.08

Vermont Center For Crime Victim Services Gains $764,896 Grant From U.S. Department Of Justice

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Monday that the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, based in Waterbury, will receive a $764,896 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The funds come from the STOP (Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program, originally established in 1994 by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  VAWA was reauthorized in 2006 under legislation that Leahy helped shepherd through Congress as a leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Programs authorized by the Leahy-backed VAWA legislation provide grants to states for the development and improvement of effective, victim-centered partnerships between law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, the courts and victim advocacy groups, to improve victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their crimes against women.

“The Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services offers a comprehensive approach to helping crime victims,” said Leahy.  “The STOP Program grants help make these services available to victims throughout Vermont.  These funds make it possible for VCCVS to participate in helping to hold offenders accountable for their crimes, while also developing and strengthening victim services.”  

Under the STOP Program grant, Vermont will allocate a minimum of 30 percent of the grant funds to nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs.  A minimum of 25 percent must be allocated each to law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and no less than five percent for use by the courts.  The remaining 15 percent may be awarded at the state’s discretion.  Since 2000, Vermont has received $6.23 million in STOP Program grants.

Leahy, a former prosecutor, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Justice Department and its anti-crime programs, and he has long been the leader in Congress in defending the Crime Victims Fund and supporting crime victims.  Since 2006, Leahy has led a bipartisan coalition to beat back proposals by the administration to rescind the balance of the Fund at the end of each fiscal year.  In June, Leahy won Senate passage of his legislation to reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has helped recover more than 110,200 children since its founding in 1984.  Leahy also supports legislation to education teens about internet safety and to improve safety and security in schools and universities.  He is also a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its subcommittee that handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual budget bill for the Justice Department. 

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