For Immediate Release
Department of Justice Awards Nearly $7 Million in Grant Funding to Assist Nevada Victims of Domestic Violence
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada Announces Launch of “Project Veronica”
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada announced today that the Department of Justice — through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is awarding nearly $7 million in grant funding and award opportunities to assist law enforcement agencies, tribes, victims of domestic violence, and local and state government within Nevada, as part of its efforts to curb domestic and sexual violence across the country.
Domestic violence continues to be a scourge in Nevada communities, and has long lasting effects not only on victims of domestic violence, but also on their families and friends. The grant awards announced today are being launched as “Project Veronica,” in honor of a local victim of domestic violence named Veronica Caldwell. In 2015, Veronica lost her life at the hands of her husband, who also shot and killed Veronica’s daughter Yvonne and her daughter’s boyfriend.
Veronica’s mother, Rose Floyd, expressed gratitude for the initiative and said: “My family is honored that the Department of Justice and our Nevada communities will be keeping my daughter’s name in their hearts. Veronica would be proud to know that her legacy will live on through a project that aims to save families from the senseless pain suffered at the hands of domestic violence.”
“The recent increase in domestic violence homicides in Nevada is alarming,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “The Office of Justice Programs supports efforts by assisting state and local law enforcement and prosecutors in collaborating with U.S. Attorney Nick Trutanich’s office to help hold domestic violence offenders accountable and assist the victims of these crimes. We continue to applaud this Administration's determination to combat all violent crime.”
“We recognize that the increase in domestic violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic creates an urgent situation,” says Laura L. Rogers, Principal Deputy Director of OVW. “This funding will help support the victims of domestic violence, keep survivors safe, and provide resources for victim advocates.”
“This initiative funds domestic violence service providers and law enforcement throughout our state at a critical time,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “Together, our combined efforts will prevent and deter domestic violence, and save lives. For our part, with the help of these new resources, our office looks forward to working closely with our local, state, and federal partners to make a renewed push to prosecute domestic violence offenders who illegally possess guns.”
“While staying at home may keep Nevadans safe from the pandemic, for many domestic violence victims, staying at home can be dangerous and has resulted in more calls for help,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “I’m grateful to the Department of Justice for providing funding so that my office can help protect our victims and their families, and provide much needed additional services.”
“When multiple agencies coordinate efforts to combat a known problem, our success is exponential. The partnership between my office, the U.S. Attorney, the Nevada Attorney General, and multiple non-profits shows our commitment to protecting victims of Domestic Violence and gun violence, and aggressively prosecuting offenders. Additional financial resources provided by these federal grants helps to ensure our success,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
“Our pledge to protect the public is one ATF takes very seriously,” said Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman, San Francisco Field Division. “Our special agents are working hard to prevent those individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms. This includes investigating those who illegally possess a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or who are subject to a domestic violence protective order. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a troubling increase in domestic violence cases. To combat this unacceptable trend, ATF has been working side by side with our prosecutorial and law enforcement partners to achieve a maximum impact with the investigation and prosecution of those domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms. It is critically important to prevent these abusers from having access to firearms and to reduce the threat of gun violence in our communities.”
Over the past few years, victim service providers and law enforcement agencies throughout Nevada have worked hard to help victims and hold abusers accountable. Domestic violence, however, remains a significant issue. For example, Nevada ranks among the highest in the country for the rate of women murdered by men. And in Southern Nevada, about one-fourth of all murders stem from domestic violence and disputes.
Offenders who have committed domestic violence pose a particularly high risk of murdering their partners. Accordingly, federal law prohibits individuals subject to certain domestic violence protective orders and those who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors — and convicted felons — from possessing firearms. Research indicates that an abuser with a firearm at home is five times more likely to kill her or his partner, compared to an abuser who does not have the same access to a firearm.
Against this backdrop, to help reduce domestic violence in Nevada, the Department of Justice is providing the following grant awards and targeted invitations to strengthen services and resources for victims, as well as to prosecute abusers for both violence and gun crimes:
Grant Award Opportunities
·$600,000 from BJA, made available to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office; Initiative with U.S. Attorney’s Office to Prosecute Gun Crimes
o The Clark County District Attorney’s Office is receiving a targeted invitation to apply for up to three years of funding (for up to $600,000), to help prosecute domestic violence-related gun crimes.
·$300,000 from OVW to enhance relationships between law enforcement and a community-based victim service provider.
·$1,704,832 from OVW to the Nevada Office of the Attorney General; STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women
o The STOP program’s goal is to develop and strengthen law enforcement, prosecution, victim services, and court strategies to combat violent crimes against women, including community-based, culturally specific services, in cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
·$416,734 from OVW to the Nevada Office of the Attorney General; Sexual Assault Services Program
o The Sexual Assault Services Program directs grant dollars to states and territories to assist them in supporting rape crisis centers and nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that provide core services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual assault.
·$243,619 from OVW to the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence; Support for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims
o This grant program helps the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence provide support to rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and other domestic violence victim services programs.
·$663,004 from OVW to the Yerington Paiute Tribe; Tribal Governments Program
o With this funding, in collaboration with the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Yerington Paiute Tribe Victim Services Program will, among other things, support a violence prevention advocate and a victim services advocate who will provide legal advocacy and emergency services for primary and secondary victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
·$325,212 from OVW to the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation; Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program
o This award will enable the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes to expand their Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program, such as increasing advocate staff hours and the availability of services for victims.
Nevada’s Rural Communities
·$748,154 from OVW to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office; Rural Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence & Stalking Program
o With this award, the Douglas County Special Victims Response Team will enhance its ability to provide timely and thorough investigations of reported incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
·$277,500 to No to Abuse – Nevada Outreach Training Organization; Transitional Housing
o This award will help No to Abuse provide both housing and supportive services to move survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking who are homeless to permanent housing. Additional services may include job training, education attainment, and safety planning.
·$1,550,000 from OVW to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Training & Technical Assistance
o These funds will, among other things, help build the capacity of the criminal and civil justice systems within Nevada and elsewhere to respond effectively to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to foster partnerships between organizations that have not traditionally worked together to address violence against women.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. More information about OJP and its components can be found at: www.ojp.gov.
The Office on Violence Against Women provides federal leadership in developing the national capacity to reduce violence against women and administer justice for and strengthen services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Anyone affected by abuse and wishes to seek support should please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text LOVEIS to 22522.