State of Delaware
Criminal Justice Council

Violence Against Women Act Basic Facts

Known as the STOP Violence Against Women Formula and Discretionary Grant Program

Intent of the Act was the reduction of violence against women.

Problems identified by DOJ which led to this program:

  1. Tremendous number of incidents of violent crimes against women, many of which are often hidden and under-reported.
  2. Only recently has society begun to view violence against women as a serious criminal problem
  3. The current CJ and Victim services efforts are not coordinated or sufficient for this problem

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. States must demonstrate how they will distribute the grant funds each year:
    • 25% must go to law enforcement
    • 25% must go to prosecution
    • 25% must go to victim services programs
  2. Priority must be given to areas of varying geographic size and areas with the greatest showing of need within the State. Need is based upon the population and the availability of existing domestic violence and sexual assault programs in the population and geographic areas to be served. There must be equitable distribution:
    • Urban, non-urban, and rural
    • Previously underserved due to:
      • geographic location
      • racial or ethnic barriers
      • language barriers or
      • physical disabilities
  3. States shall certify that they will incur the full out-of-pocket costs for forensic medical examinations involving sexual assault victims. Victims must also not bear the costs associated with filing of criminal charges, or warrant charges, or protection order charges, or subpoena charges.
  4. States are required to consult and coordinate with non-profit, non-governmental victim services programs, including sexual assault and domestic violence victim services programs.

Seven Purpose Areas:

  1. Training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to identify and respond more effectively to violent crimes against women, including crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence
  2. Developing, training, or expanding units of law enforcement officers and prosecutors that specifically target violent crimes against women
  3. Developing and implementing more effective police and prosecution policies and services for preventing and responding to violent crimes against women.
  4. Developing and improving data collection and communications systems linking police, prosecutors, and courts or for purposes of identifying and tracking arrests, proteciton orders, prosecutions, and convictions,
  5. Developing, expanding, or improving victim services programs, including improved delivery of such services for racial, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic minorities, and the disabled, and providing specialized domestic violence court advocates.
  6. Developing and enhancing programs addressing stalking
  7. Developing and enhancing programs addressing the special needs and circumstances of Indian tribes in dealing with violent crimes against women.

“The Violence Against Women’s Act reflects a firm commitment towards working to change the criminal justice system’s response to violence that occurs when any woman is threatened or assaulted by someone with whom she has had an intimate relationship, with whom she was previously acquainted, or who is a stranger. By committing significant federal resources and attention to restructuring and strengthening the criminal justice response to women who have been or potentially could be victimized by violence, we can more effectively ensure the safety of all women.” OJP’s STOP Manual

$26 million appropriated nationally in FY 1995

$800,000 to Delaware in FY99

Related Topics:  , , , ,