Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Program (Rural Program)
The primary purpose of the Rural Program is to enhance the safety of rural victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking and support projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural areas. In FY 2015, funds under the Rural Program may be used for the following purposes:
- To identify, assess, and appropriately respond to child, youth, and adult victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in rural communities, by encouraging collaboration among sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking victim service providers; law enforcement agencies; prosecutors; courts; other criminal justice service providers; human and community service providers educational institutions; and health care providers, including sexual assault forensic examiners.
- To establish and expand nonprofit, nongovernmental, state, tribal, territorial, and local government victim services in rural communities to child, youth, and adult victims.
- To increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities by: A) dealing directly and immediately with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking occurring in rural communities; and B) creating and implementing strategies to increase awareness and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking.
The program will fund applications that propose projects that implement a collaborative response, support victim services and/or create a direct response to these crimes in rural communities. Proposed projects must devote at least 70% of their project activities and budget to Rural Program purpose areas 1, 2 and/or 3(A). Applicants may apply to address purpose area 3(B), but no more that 30% of the project budget and activities may be dedicated to prevention and awareness activities.
In addition to these purpose areas, Rural Program grantees must implement one or more strategies as outlined in the authorizing statute:
- Implementing, expanding, and establishing cooperative efforts and projects among law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim service providers, and other related parties to investigate and prosecute incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including developing multidisciplinary teams focusing on high risk cases with the goal of preventing domestic and dating violence homicides.
- Providing treatment, counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, and other long-term and short- term victim and population specific services to adult and minor victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural communities, including assistance in immigration matters.
- Working in cooperation with the community to develop education and prevention strategies directed toward such issues.
- Developing or strengthening programs addressing sexual assault, including sexual assault forensic examiner programs, Sexual Assault Response Teams, law enforcement training, and programs addressing rape kit backlogs.
- Developing programs and strategies that focus on the specific needs of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who reside in remote rural and geographically isolated areas, including addressing the challenges posed by the lack of access to shelters and victims services, and limited law enforcement resources and training, and providing training and resources to Community Health Aides involved in the delivery of Indian Health Service programs.
Applications proposing activities in the following areas will be given special consideration during the review process: 1) Strengthen and revitalize coordinated community response and multi-disciplinary teams; 2) Increase support for sexual assault, including services, law enforcement response, and prosecution; or 3) Meaningfully increase access to OVW programming for specific underserved populations.
Amount: $33,000,000 is available for up to 40 grants that typically range from $175,000-$1,000,000 for a three year project period.
Eligibility: States, Indian tribes, territories, local governments, and nonprofit entities, including tribal nonprofit organizations. An applicant must demonstrate that it proposes to serve a rural area or rural community. Applicants must include a victim service provider as the lead applicant and/or a formal project partner. Victim service providers should meet all of the following criteria: 1) provide direct services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking as one of their primary purposes and have a history of effective work in this field; 2) address a demonstrated need in their communities by providing services that promote the dignity and self-sufficiency of victims, improve their access to resources, and create options for victims seeking safety from perpetrator violence; and 3) do not engage in or promote activities that compromise victim safety. Applicants must also include at least one project partner, and should include agencies and organizations necessary to implement the proposed project. These partners may include victim service providers addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking; law enforcement agencies; prosecutors; courts; other criminal justice service providers; human and community service providers, educational institutions; and/or health care providers.
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