U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Contra Costa) applauded Contra Costa County for receiving today a $200,000 federal grant to help reduce domestic violence homicides.
The grant is part of the new federal Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative, created by the U.S. Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women, to help state and local jurisdictions reduce domestic violence homicides by effectively identifying potential victims and monitoring high-risk offenders.
"Protection from domestic violence is an urgent concern for women, and I am very pleased to see Contra Costa County successfully competing for new federal assistance to increase protection of women from deadly domestic attacks" Miller said.
"Reducing violence against women is a top priority in communities all across our country, which is why I joined my colleagues earlier this month in finally passing a reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act that President Obama just signed into law last Thursday. The bill was inexplicably blocked for more than 500 days by Republicans in the House who objected to updating the law to cover Native American and immigrant women and people in the LGBT community. Contra Costa County has a strong history of working towards a safer, less violent future for all its residents, and this grant will help them continue that important effort. I look forward to seeing this program implemented and to its positive results in our community."
Miller has consistently urged the Justice Department to support programs to reduce domestic violence in Contra Costa County, citing the "highly successful collaboration and significant results in addressing the complex issues surrounding domestic violence" and the "county-wide network of service providers, law enforcement and policy makers to better provide outreach to victims" in a letter last April.
As a part of the new initiative, Contra Costa County will utilize an assessment tool that can be used to reliably recognize women who may be in fatally abusive relationships. Attempted strangulation, threats with weapons, sexual assault and obsessively jealous and controlling behavior are among the markers of particularly lethal abusers. Once at-risk victims are identified, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and service providers can take action to protect them and their families.