The U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) today announced a $8,355,648 grant to organizations providing direct support to assist the victims, witnesses and first responders involved in the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013.
"This grant funding will provide critical support to many who were affected by last year's terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "We will never forget the courage of the first responders, marathon participants, and bystanders who rushed to save lives on that terrible day, nor the heartbreak and pain of those who suffered injuries or lost friends and loved ones. With this grant, we reaffirm the Justice Department's firm commitment to standing with the victims of this heinous crime -- and all of the community leaders and service providers who continue to heal this remarkable and resilient city."
On April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs were detonated 13 seconds apart near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and injuring hundreds more. On April 18, 2013, the suspects allegedly shot and killed an officer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department. Subsequently, the two suspects allegedly carjacked a vehicle and took the vehicle's owner hostage; he later escaped. On April 19, 2013, a Watertown, Mass., police officer identified the suspects and a gunfight ensued between the suspects and police in a Watertown neighborhood. This incident resulted in one suspect's death when he was struck by a vehicle as the other suspect fled the scene. Later that day, police apprehended the remaining suspect in a different Watertown neighborhood. Victims affected include those in the vicinity of the bombings as well as the residents of neighborhoods in which subsequent events unfolded. An estimated 1,000 victims will require crisis and/or longer-term recovery services.
OVC provided the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) grant to the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA).
"MOVA has worked diligently with OVC and our federal, state and local partners to serve those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings, while planning a longer term solution to meet their evolving needs in the years to come," said MOVA Executive Director Liam Lowney. "We are grateful to OVC for its continued support in developing a response that is tailored to specifically address the physical and emotional injuries caused to so many individuals, their families and our community as a whole by this tragedy."
This award will include costs, both incurred and anticipated, for organizations providing crisis intervention services and trauma-informed care, continuum of care, socioeconomic support, wrap-around legal services and other victim assistance.
"OVC is committed to promoting healing and justice for all victims of crime," said OVC Director Joye Frost. "We acknowledge the hardships that all victims of crime face and recognize the enormous physical, emotional and financial toll of the Boston bombings on victims and their loved ones. Many of these bombing victims face serious and protracted medical problems as well as long-term financial loss and emotional upheaval. This award will ensure that Boston and the state of Massachusetts can provide critical support to victims and their families as they work to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives."
In 1995, following the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized OVC to set aside and administer up to $50 million annually from the Crime Victims Fund for the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve Fund to assist victims in extraordinary circumstances. Following an act of terrorism or mass violence, jurisdictions can apply for an AEAP grant award for crisis response, criminal justice support, crime victim compensation and training and technical assistance expenses. OVC also provided AEAP funds and assistance following the shootings in Newtown, Conn. (2012); Oak Creek, Wis. (2012); Aurora, Colo. (2012); Tucson, Ariz. (2011); Binghamton, N.Y. (2009); and at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2007).
For more information on the AEAP program, please visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/AEAP/index.html.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the Nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.