On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) grant funding totaling $51,860,858 to provide victims of sexual assault with services in every state and the District of Columbia, as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This marks a significant increase of nearly 45% when compared to last year’s funding level. OVW Principal Deputy Director Allison Randall announced the 56 Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program (SASP) awards in remarks at the National Sexual Assault Conference in San Francisco, California. These are funds that are made available through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Arizona will receive nearly $1 million in federal funding to support victims of sexual assault.
“It is critically important that all victims of sexual assault are able to access support and safety. Research shows that the need for that support is substantial across our nation: more than half of women and nearly one-third of men experience sexual violence in their lifetimes, which is a truly staggering number,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “This significant release of SASP funds reflects our unwavering resolve to combat sexual assault. It represents our dedication to supporting rape crisis centers and other organizations that provide trauma-informed services and counseling, training advocates and ensuring that every survivor receives assistance tailored to their unique needs. We’re not just investing in services; we’re investing in dignity, healing and justice for every survivor.”
“While we face significant challenges as a nation in preventing and addressing sexual assault, the increased resources for these programs through SASP funds underscore our dedication to centering the voices of survivors and enhancing services and support,” said OVW Director Rosie Hidalgo. “We at the Office on Violence Against Women recognize the importance of strengthening a robust community-wide response in aiding survivors of sexual violence. This collective effort ensures that survivors are not just heard, but that they are fully supported in accessing safety, healing and justice. I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to service providers, advocates, coalitions and especially survivors. Their relentless work, bravery and dedication in preventing and addressing sexual violence are not just commendable but essential.”
Congress first authorized SASP in the VAWA Reauthorization of 2005. SASP is the nation’s first federal funding stream dedicated to providing direct intervention and related assistance to victims of sexual assault. OVW administers SASP funding according to a statutorily determined, population-based formula. States and territories, in turn, sub award the funds to rape crisis centers and other nonprofit, nongovernmental or Tribal agencies that provide direct intervention and related services to adult, youth and child victims of sexual assault.
In addition to SASP, OVW administers discretionary grant programs, many of which fund sexual assault services.
OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of VAWA and subsequent legislation. Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending 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.