Established by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, this grant program seeks to develop and implement law enforcement and prosecution strategies to effectively decrease violent crimes against women. Also, these grants help to develop and enhance services provided to the victims of violent crimes.
Washington State has an overarching STOP Grant goal of increasing the safety of youth and adults by supporting communities in developing comprehensive and collaborative strategies to address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking; and to prioritize the needs and safety of victims while holding offenders accountable for their crimes. This goal will be supported by the following funding strategies:
- Fund community based culturally specific agencies and Tribes to provide services primarily directed toward racial and ethnic minority communities;
- Fund community driven initiatives that are responsive in addressing the needs of underserved populations;
- Fund law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to actively engage in a coordinated response to violence against youth and adult victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking;
- Fund judicial training and the development of appropriate policies and protocols that hold offenders accountable while ensuring sensitivity to victim needs;
- Fund services that assist and provide support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking;
- Fund the planning and implementation of activities that meaningfully address sexual assault;
- Fund prevention related initiatives, as communities determine need but no more than 5% of the state's STOP allocation; and
- Fund local community activities aimed at reducing domestic violence related homicides.
In Washington state, VAWA program funds are largely disbursed in a non-competitive process to the local community level, where most victim services and criminal justice activities are planned and carried out - including providing funding for culturally specific services and underserved communities. Agencies who have historically under spent funding may receive a reduced award and unobligated funds will be directed to special projects as prioritized by the Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee.