Established by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the STOP Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Program seeks to develop and implement law enforcement and prosecution strategies to effectively decrease violent crimes against women. These grants also help to develop and enhance services provided to the victims of violent crimes.
In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is responsible for coordinating VAWA funds with local agencies. Funds through VAWA provide systematic and sustained focus on permanent systems change within the Pennsylvania criminal justice system, while simultaneously developing a comprehensive network of domestic violence and sexual assault victim service advocates and programs throughout Pennsylvania communities.
VAWA funds may be used for multiple purposes, including:
- Comprehensive training projects (especially multi-disciplinary training).
- Specialized units such as programs in law enforcement or district attorneys' offices.
- Projects developing protocols, policies, and evaluation mechanisms.
- Projects developing data collection and communication systems.
- Sexual assault and domestic violence victim services programs.
- Projects concerning stalking; projects designed for Native American women.
- Projects addressing the needs of older, disabled, and other underserved women.
- Projects supporting statewide multidisciplinary efforts; training of sexual assault forensic medical personnel.
- Assistance for domestic violence and sexual assault victims with immigration matters.
For more information, see the 2014-2016 Pennsylvania VAWA Implementation Plan at: http://www.pccd.pa.gov/Victim-Services/Documents/Implementation%20Plan%20Final.pdf