From The United States Department of Justice's

 

Office on Violence Against Women:

STOP Violence Against Women

Formula Grant Program

Program Brief

INTRODUCTION
The STOP (Services Training Officers Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program (STOP Program) promotes a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to improving the criminaljustice system's response to violent crimes against women. The STOP Program encourages the development and strengthening of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and the development and strengtheningof victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women.

The STOP Program was initially authorized under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) and reauthorized and amended by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) and by the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005). The STOP Program is administered by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), U.S. Department of Justice.

SCOPE OF PROGRAM
STOP formula grants and subgrants are intended for use by states; state, local, and tribal courts; Indian tribal governments; unitsof local government; and nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs. Grants and subgrants supported through this program must meet one or moreof the following statutory program purpose areas:

  • Training law enforcement officers, judges, other court personnel, and prosecutors to more effectively identify and respond to violent crimes against women, including the crimesof sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence;

  • Developing, training, or expanding units of law enforcement officers, judges, other court personnel, and prosecutors specifically targeting violent crimes against women, including the crimesof sexual assault and domestic violence;

  • Developing and implementing more effective police, court, and prosecution policies, protocols, orders, and services specifically devoted to preventing, identifying, and responding to violent crimes against women, including the crimesof sexual assault and domestic violence;

  • Developing, installing, or expanding data collection and communication systems, including computerized systems, linking police, prosecutors, and courts or for the purposeof identifying and tracking arrests, protection orders, violations of protection orders, prosecutions, and convictions for violent crimes against women, including the crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence;

  • Developing, enlarging, or strengthening victim services programs, including sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence programs, developing or improving deliveryof victim services to underserved populations, providing specialized domestic violence court advocates in courts where a significant numberof protection orders are granted, and increasing reporting and reducing attrition rates for cases involving violent crimes against women, including crimesof sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence;

  • Developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs addressing stalking;

  • Developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs addressing the needs and circumstances of Indian tribes in dealing with violent crimes against women, including the crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence;

  • Supporting formal and informal statewide, multidisciplinary efforts, to the extent not supported by state funds, to coordinate the responseof state law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, courts, victim services agencies, and other state agencies and departments, to violent crimes against women, including the crimesof sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence;

  • Training of sexual assault forensic medical personnel examiners in the collection and preservation of evidence, analysis, prevention, and providing expert testimony and treatment of trauma related to sexual assault;

  • Developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs to assist law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and others to address the needs and circumstancesof older and disabled women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, including recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting instances of such violence or assault and targeting outreach and support, counseling, and other victim services to such older and disabled individuals;

  • Providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in immigration matters;

  • Maintaining core victim services and criminal justice initiatives, while supporting complementary new initiatives and emergency services for victims and their families;

  • Supporting the placement of special victim assistants (to be known as "Jessica Gonzales Victim Assistants") in local law enforcement agencies to serve as liaisons between victimsof domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and personnel in local law enforcement agencies in order to improve the enforcementof protection orders. Jessica Gonzales Victim Assistants shall have expertise in domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and may undertake the following activities-

    • Developing, in collaboration with prosecutors, courts, and victim service providers, standardized response policies for local law enforcement agencies, including triage protocols to ensure that dangerous or potentially lethal cases are identified and prioritized;

    • Notifying persons seeking enforcement of protection orders as to what responses will be provided by the relevant law enforcement agency;

    • Referring persons seeking enforcement of protection orders to supplementary services (such as emergency shelter programs, hotlines, or legal assistance services); and

    • Taking other appropriate action to assist or secure the safety of the person seeking enforcement of a protection order; and



  • To provide funding to law enforcement agencies, nonprofit nongovernmental victim services providers, and State, tribal, territorial, and local governments, (which funding stream shall be known as the Crystal Judson Domestic Violence Protocol Program) to promote-

    • The development and implementation of training for local victim domestic violence service providers, and to fund victim services personnel, to be known as "Crystal Judson Victim Advocates," to provide supportive services and advocacy for victims of domestic violence committed by law enforcement personnel:

    • The implementation of protocols within law enforcement agencies to ensure consistent and effective responses to the commission of domestic violence by personnel within such agencies (such as the model policy promulgated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police['Domestic Violence by Police Officers: A Policy of the IACP, Police Response to Violence Against Women Project' July 2003]1;

    • The development of such protocols in collaboration with State, tribal, territorial and local victim services providers and domestic violence coalitions.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES
The emphasis of the STOP Program continues to be on the implementation of comprehensive strategies addressing violence against women that are sensitive to the needs and safety of victims and hold offenders accountable for their crimes. States and territories should seek to carry out these strategies by forging lasting partnerships between the criminaljustice system and victim advocacy organizations and by encouraging communities to look beyond traditional resources and to look to new partners, such as faith-based and community organizations, to respond more vigorously to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes.

In shaping their strategies for FY 2007, states are encouraged to develop and support projects to:

  • Implement community-driven initiatives, utilizing faith-based and community organizations, to address the needs of underserved populations as defined by VAWA, including people with disabilities and elder victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

  • Address sexual assault and stalking through service expansion; development and implementation of protocols; training for judges, other court personnel, prosecutors, and law enforcement; and development of coordinated community responses to violence against women.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY
All states, territories, and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply for a STOP formula grant award. To be eligible for funds, states must meet all application requirements and must certify that they are in compliance with the statutory eligibility requirementsof the Violence Against Women Act as amended. (42 U.S.C. §§ 3796gg- through 3796gg-5).

1.        With respect to the VAWA requirement concerning costs for criminal charges and protection orders, a state or territory must certify:

  • that its laws, policies, and practices do not require, in connection with the prosecution of any misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense, or in connection with the filing, issuance, registration, or service of a protection order, or a petition for a protection order, to protect a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, that the victim bear the costs associated with the filing of criminal charges against the offender, or the costs associated with the filing, issuance, registration, or service of a warrant, protection order, petition for a protection order, or witness subpoena, whether issued inside or outside the state, tribal, or local jurisdiction.

2.        With respect to the VAWA requirement concerning forensic medical examination payment for victims of sexual assault, a state or territory must certify:

  • The state or territory, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or another governmental entity incurs the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic medical exams for victims of sexual assault.

  • That by January 5, 2009, it will not require a victim of sexual assault to participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with law enforcement in order to be provided with a forensic medical exam, or to be reimbursed for charges incurred on accountof such an exam.

NOTE: STOP funds may now be used to pay for forensic medical exams performed by trained examiners for victims of sexual assault, except that such funds may not be used to pay for forensic medical exams if victims of sexual assault are required to seek reimbursement for such exams from their insurance carriers.

3.        With respect to the VAWA requirement concerning judicial notification, a state or territory must certify:

  • that its judicial administrative policies and practices include notification to domestic violence offenders of the requirements delineated in section 922(g)(8) and (g)(9) of title 18, Unites States Code, and any applicable related Federal, State, or local laws; or that its judicial administrative policies and practices will be in compliance with the above within the laterof
  • the period ending on the date on which the next session of the State legislature ends; or
  • January 5, 2008.

4.        With respect to the VAWA requirement concerning polygraph testing prohibition, a state or territory must certify:

  • that not later than January 5, 2009, their laws, policies, or practices will ensure that no law enforcement officer, prosecuting officer or other government official shall ask or require an adult, youth, or child victimof an alleged sex offense as defined under Federal, tribal, state, territorial, or local law to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth telling device as a condition for proceeding with the investigationof such an offense.

  • Under 42 U.S.C. 3796gg-8(b), the refusal of a victim to submit to a polygraph or other truth telling examination shall not prevent the investigation, charging, or prosecutionof an alleged sex offense by a state, Indian tribal government, territorial government, or unit of local government.

For more information on these requirements, go to the OVW website which can be found at www.usdoj.gov/ovw.

MATCH REQUIREMENTS
Awards to states made under this grant program may support up to 75 percent of the total cost of each project. The state is responsible for ensuring compliance with the 25 percent nonfederal match requirement.

Exception: VAWA 2005, as amended, created a new provision eliminating match in certain circumstances and providing for waivers of match in other circumstances. Specifically, 42 U.S.C. 13925 (b)(1) provides:

No matching funds shall be required for any grant or subgrant made under this Act for-

  • Any tribe, territory, or victim service provider: or
  • Any other entity, including a State, that-
    • Petitions for a waiver of any match conditions imposed by the Attorney General or the Secretaries of Health and Human Services or Housing and Urban Development; and
    • Who petitions for a waiver is determined by the Attorney General or the Secretaries of Health and Human Services or Urban Development to have adequately demonstrated the financial need of the petitioning entity.

For more information about the Stop Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, please contact:

Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
800 K Street, N.W., Suite 920
Washington, D.C. 20530
Phone: 202-307-6026
Fax: 202-307-3911
TTY: 202-307-2277
Website:
www.usdoj.gov/ovw

Source

Footnote:
1. A copy of this document is available on the IACP website.