The Department of Justice joins survivors, victim service providers, advocates, and communities nationwide in recognizing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This is a time to center the experiences of survivors, honor those who lost their lives to domestic violence; express gratitude to the countless individuals in the movement to end violence; and raise awareness on the issues of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. As part of its monthlong observance of DVAM, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi is proud to announce that the Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) awarded more than $1.2 million to agencies within the district to bolster coordinated community responses aimed at bringing an end to domestic violence, as well as sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
Data from the most recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicate about 41% of women and 26% of men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported an intimate partner violence-related impact during their lifetime. Domestic violence rates are even higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, Black individuals, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI+ individuals.
The announced grants will reach Tribal nations, historically marginalized communities, underserved communities, college and university campuses, rural towns, culturally specific communities, and more. The funding prioritizes increasing access to justice, improving survivor safety, holding perpetrators accountable, and offering training and technical support to professionals addressing these crimes.
Specifically, the Northern District of Mississippi received the following funds for the 2023 fiscal year:
- OVW awarded $400,000 to Mississippi Valley State University under the Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program (Campus Program) to support colleges and universities to develop and strengthen effective security and investigation strategies for such crimes and to develop prevention education and awareness programs.
- OVW awarded $950,000 under the Grants to Enhance Culturally Specific Services for Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Program (Culturally Specific Program) to help community-based organizations in the Northern District of Mississippi to develop culturally relevant programs specific to American Indian and Alaska Native populations, Black, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Tribal communities to support survivors. The Impact Community Outreach Center in Itta Bena, Mississippi received a $450,000 grant award while the Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Southaven received a $400,000 award.
U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner commented: “I am pleased to announce that the Northern District of Mississippi has been awarded funding from the Office on Violence Against Women. This district will continue to work alongside our partners to combat domestic violence and we applaud these grant awards that will aid in that fight by helping agencies within our District to raise awareness, enhance prevention efforts, and assist domestic violence victims.”
“Every day, a vast network of dedicated individuals helps domestic violence survivors access multiple pathways to safety, justice, and healing,” said OVW Director Rosie Hidalgo. “OVW understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing domestic violence. These funds will enable communities to increase capacity and strengthen a coordinated community approach to prevent and address violence in more comprehensive ways tailored to their communities. Together, with our grantees, we are building a future where individuals and families can live and thrive without the threat of intimate partner violence.”
OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through implementing VAWA and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities nationwide that are developing programs, policies, and practices to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at www.justice.gov/ovw.