Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today congratulated the Arizona Office For Children, Youth and Families and Catholic Community Services Of Southern Arizona (CCS) on their newly announced $2,672,988 grant and $338,000 grant, respectively, from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.
The law aims to create partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and victim services organizations dealing with crimes against women. The state grant will fund multiple efforts, while the CCS grant will help the group provide direct legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault throughout Southern Arizona.
Under the terms of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the state’s funding will break down as follows:
– not less than 30 percent to nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs
– not less than 25 percent to law enforcement
– not less than 25 percent to prosecution
– not less than 5 percent to courts
– 5 percent may be awarded at the state’s discretion
The CCS grant will help the group provide case evaluation, legal advice and direct representation of victims in filing applications for relief under VAWA, which was originally passed in 1994 and amended in 2000 and 2005. The group has already said it will employ one full-time attorney or accredited legal representative in Pima County, one full-time paralegal to serve Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties, and one three-quarter-time paralegal dedicated to serving Yuma County.
“Women need to know they can leave or avoid abusive situations, and these are important resources for Arizona to help get that message out,” Grijalva said. “Women’s safety is not something we should ignore or duck because of the stigma attached to it. It’s a serious problem that needs significant attention and resources, and I’m glad to see the state and CCS doing their part to help women be safe, know their rights and apply for any help they may need.”
According to the 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey of the United States, approximately 623,000 violent crimes – 554,000 against female victims – were committed by an intimate partner and approximately 248,300 rape/sexual assault victimizations occurred in 2007. The 2007 BJS Report on “Homicide Trends in the U.S.” revealed that about one third of female murder victims were killed by a partner.
For more information, call the Office For Children, Youth and Families at (602) 542-1764 or CCS of Southern Arizona at (520) 623-0344.