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 Louisiana, the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice is responsible for coordinating VAWA funds with local agencies. Funds through VAWA must be committed to four specific areas in the State: prosecution, law enforcement, victim service, and courts.
In FY 2019, VAWA funds may be used for multiple purposes in the identified funding areas, including
- Training law enforcement officers and prosecutors to identify and respond to violent crimes against women;
- Developing, training or expanding specialized law enforcement units;
- Developing and implementing more effective police and prosecution policies, protocols, orders and services specifically dedicated to preventing, identifying and responding to violent crimes against women;
- Developing, installing or expanding data collection and communication systems that link police, prosecutors and courts or identify and track arrests, protection orders, violations of protection orders, prosecutions and convictions of violent crimes against women;
- Developing, expanding or strengthening victim service programs, programs that address stalking and programs that address the needs and circumstances of Indian tribes dealing with violent crimes against women.
NOTE: STOP funds may be used to partially purchase equipment that will be used for the STOP project as well as other purposes if the expenses are prorated according to the percentage of time that the equipment is used for STOP purposes. For example, a state could use STOP funds to support a portion of the digitalization of a 911 network if it can document the percentage of expenses based on the number of calls received for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.