U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $300,000 in federal Department of Justice (DOJ) funding the Black Women’s Blueprint, a non-profit organization located in Brooklyn that serves African American victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking in all five boroughs of New York City. For this project, the organization will partner with Women’s Hands Establishing Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills (WHEELS) to provide economic empowerment to victims who need that type of support. The funding was allocated through the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women and is authorized through the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program
“Domestic and dating violence is never acceptable and we must do all we can to both prevent it in the first place, and to take care of those who are victimized by it. Fortunately, there are organizations like the Black Women’s Blueprint, dedicated to providing resources to help stop these terrible attacks, said Senator Schumer. “I will continue doing everything I can to ensure organizations like these have the resources they need to combat these horrible crimes.”
“This critical federal funding through the Department of Justice will help facilitate a wide range of programs to better assist domestic violence survivors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Domestic violence is a serious problem and we need to work towards creating a safe environment for individuals and families. By increasing accessibility to services for survivors we can help provide the support and resources they need to be protected and put their lives back together.”
Over the two year project period, WHEELS will work with Black Women’s Blueprint to ensure 30 survivors attain economic empowerment through a variety of classes and support. This will include basic computer literacy classes, typing programs, interactive employment readiness workshops, budgeting and money management, leadership and communicating with supervisors, problem solving and conflict resolution, managing home, children and work, business ethics and basic human relations and diversity. The grant will also cover the Program Director’s time to establish and strengthen partnerships between Black Women’s Blueprint and community organizations, law enforcement agencies, the courts, academic institutions and other institutions that work with African American communities.
The goal of the grant programs through the Office on Violence Against Women is to create sustainable change within and between organizations that results in accessible, safe and effective services for individuals who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and accountability for perpetrators of such crimes. The Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program is designed to strengthen civil and criminal legal assistance programs for adult and youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are seeking relief in legal matters arising as a consequence of that abuse or violence.