U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced that eight organizations in Maryland received a total of $5,049,214 in grants from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for efforts around the state that will help protect women and families from domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and other dating violence. These funds are authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), originally established in 1994 and reauthorized most recently in 2006. Senator Mikulski is Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds VAWA programs administered DOJ and OVW. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"I have absolutely no tolerance for domestic violence. As a social worker, I've seen first-hand how domestic violence hurts children and destroys families," said Senator Mikulski, an original VAWA champion. "These funds in the federal checkbook meet a compelling human need, protecting victims, helping families heal and rebuild their lives. I will continue to fight for the Violence Against Women Act and grant programs that help protect women and their families from continued abuse."
"Domestic violence cannot be permitted, and this Department of Justice grant will provide important support for women and families who are struggling to escape the cycle of abuse," said Senator Cardin "This funding will help ensure that Marylanders who are victims of domestic violence have access to counseling and other services they need to get back on their feet again. On the federal level, I urge my colleagues in the House to act as soon as possible to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. "
"The Violence Against Women Act has allowed us to achieve significant progress in our efforts to protect women and children from abuse in Maryland," said Lt. Governor Brown. "These new funds will allow our partners throughout the state to continue the life-saving efforts that every day bring us one step closer to eliminating this senseless crime. We are fortunate to have leaders like Senator Mikulski and Senator Cardin fighting to make sure victims in Maryland have the resources they need. We must urge Congress to reauthorize VAWA now in order to avoid losing progress on this important issue."
The following organizations received grants that will be used in efforts to combat violence against women around the state:
- Still I Rise, Incorporated in Prince George's County received $297,000 to enhance culturally and linguistically specific resources and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
- Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault in Arnold received $500,000 from the Legal Assistance Victims Grant Program which will help provide legal representation, supportive services and outreach to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault. The Coalition was also awarded $117,344 from the Grants to State Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program, which supports statewide efforts to coordinate victim services across federal, state and local entities to respond to violence against women issues affecting their jurisdictions.
- Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence in Bowie received $80,380 from the Grants to State Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Coalitions Program, which supports statewide efforts to coordinate victim services across federal, state and local entities to respond to violence against women issues affecting their jurisdictions.
- City of Frostburg received $350,000 through the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program which increases supervised visitation and exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault or stalking. This grant was originally announced in September. Click here to see the release.
- House of Ruth in Baltimore received $299,988 from the Transitional Housing Grant Program which will provide domestic violence victims with safe, reliable, and flexible short and long-term housing, supportive services and crisis intervention. House of Ruth was also awarded $500,000 for the Legal Assistance for Victims Grant which will help provide legal representation, supportive services and outreach to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault. This grant was originally announced in September. Click here to see the release.
- Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) in Towson received $291,049 for the Sexual Assault Services Program which directs grants to states to assist them in supporting rape crisis centers and other organizations that proved core services, direct intervention and related assistance to victims of sexual assault. The GOCCP was also awarded $2,455,970 from the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants Program to encourage the development and implementation of effective, victim-centered law enforcement, prosecution and court strategies to address violent crimes against women.
- Administrative Office of the Court (State of Maryland) received $50,000 from the Court Training and Improvements Program to improve court responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases utilizing proven specialized court processes to ensure victim safety and offender accountability.
- Legal Resources Center on Violence Against Women, Inc. in Tahoma Park received $107,483 through the Technical Assistance Program to develop and implement successful state, local, tribal and campus projects as well as increase victim safety and bolster offender accountability.