Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced a $900,000 Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program (Arrest) Grant from the Department of Justice for Westchester County. Specifically, the investment will help expand and strengthen Westchester’s Family Justice Center, which brings together victim advocates from non-profit, nongovernmental victim services organizations, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, governmental victim assistants, civil legal attorneys, legal advocates, and representatives from community-based organizations. This will allow all parties involved to be in one centralized location in order to improve safety, access to services, and confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; and to hold offenders accountable.
“Protecting women from abusers and predators is an enormous priority, and this investment will help keep Westchester families safe by improving response to violence and assault at the Family Justice Center,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased such an important federal investment is being made in Westchester and the community will have access to the support they need to help keep women, children and familes safe.”
“This is a key investment for Westchester County,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When we do more to protect families from domestic violence, we can give victims a sense of justice, help put their lives back together, and keep more New Yorkers safe.”
The Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program (Arrest) implements certain provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, which was enacted in September 1994 as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, reauthorized in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, 2005, and 2013. The program enhances victim safety and offender accountability in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by encouraging jurisdictions to implement pro-arrest policies as an effective intervention that is part of a coordinated community response. An integral component of the Arrest Program is the creation and enhancement of collaborative partnerships between criminal justice agencies, victim services providers, and community organizations which respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.