LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thirty agencies across Kentucky are going to receive additional grants to fight sexual assault, stalking, domestic and dating violence.
Gov. Andy Beshear and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced in a recent press release agencies have been awarded more than $2.1 million in grant funding.
“We must end violent crime and sexual assault,” said Beshear. “These funds help us work together to end it and build that better Kentucky we all want.”
The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution (STOP) Formula Grant Program was awarded to Kentucky agencies within prosecution, victim services, law enforcement and judicial strategies.
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, distributes the funds to states.
OVW requires funds must be distributed within the state as follows:
- 25% for law enforcement
- 25% for prosecutors
- 30% for victim services
- 5% for state and local courts
- 15% as needed
According to the press release, funds should be focused on programs helping victims ages 11-24. Funding may also support "complementary new initiatives and emergency services for victims and their families, including children 10 and under."
“We must support any and all efforts to curb intimate partner violence and amplify the voices and experiences of victims so they no longer have to navigate that painful journey alone,” said Harvey.
Angela Yannelli, Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence CEO, said this funding is essential in their work to ensure access to services Kentuckians experiencing domestic violence might need. "It also provides the resources we need to invest in policy work that improves systems responses to domestic violence and improves outcomes for survivors," she said.
Lt. Nicholas Lodal, Georgetown Police Department Criminal Investigations Section, said this funding will allow the department more time and energy to investigate, charge and arrest "domestic violence, violations of protection orders, sexual assault and stalking/harassment crimes."
Lodal said the department is excited to provide an even higher level of service to the area.