May 18, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $7 Million in Recovery Act Funding For New York to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women -- Will Strengthen Victim Services and Create Jobs

Department of Justice Awards Funding to Hire and Retain Criminal Justice Personnel to Respond to Violent Crimes Against

Washington, D.C. -- United States Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the United States Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will allocate $7,374,913 to New York State under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program. The STOP Program supports communities' efforts to hire and retain criminal justice and victim services personnel that respond to violent crimes against women as a way to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement, prosecution strategies, and victim services.

"There is nothing more important than protecting women from violent situations," Schumer said. "This funding will go a long way in ensuring that women, communities, and law enforcement have the necessary tools to protect themselves and their communities from needless violence, and that victims have the support they need to recover."

"As a lawmaker and a mother, I will not stand for any violence against women," Senator Gillibrand said. "This federal investment will put the resources we need on the ground to crack down on dangerous criminals hurting women and families. I will work with Senator Schumer and our Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government to keep our families safe."

The STOP Program funds efforts by communities to hire and retain criminal justice and victim services employees that respond to violent crimes against women. Maintaining trained personnel helps to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement, prosecution strategies, and victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women. To further the purposes of the Recovery Act, OVW encourages states who receive funding to hire and retain criminal justice and victim services personnel who respond to violent crimes against women, as well as supporting other strategies that create and preserve jobs and promote economic growth while improving responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program was reauthorized and amended on January 5, 2006 by the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA). The STOP Program continues to encourage the development and implementation of effective, victim-centered law enforcement, prosecution, and court strategies to address violent crimes against women and the development and enhancement of victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women. It envisions a partnership among law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and victim services organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their crimes against women.

The STOP Program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The stated purposes of the Recovery Act are to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery; to assist those most impacted by the recession; to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; to invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits; and to stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive State and local tax increases.

In compliance with VAWA 2005, each STOP grant recipient must allocate not less than 30% of its STOP funding to nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs, of which at least 10% is to be distributed to culturally specific community-based organizations, not less than 25% to law enforcement; not less than 25% to prosecution; and not less than 5% to courts. The remaining 15% may be awarded at the state's discretion within the statutory parameters.