US Department of Justice Awards $114 Million to Address Violence Against Women
The Department of Justice granted over $114 million yesterday as part of its efforts to address and prevent violence against women across the country. The Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women released the funds to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories through its STOP (Service, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program.
According to the Department of Justice, STOP Program grants are wide-ranging and intended for state, local, and tribal court systems as well as Indian tribal governments and nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services groups. STOP formula grants are meant to support prevention of and effective responses to domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.
Cindy Dyer, director of the Office on Violence Against Women hopes the funds will "enhance services to victims" as well as "improve coordination between law enforcement, prosecution and courts, and strengthen victim services," according to Market Watch.
The Office on Violence Against Women awards a base amount of $600,000 to each state, according to Market Watch, with further STOP funding to be allocated based on state population. Recipients must meet at least one of the programís statutory purpose areas to receive funding, which include training of law enforcement officers, judges, and other court personnel to better identify and respond to crimes of violence against women and the expansion of current victim services programs.
Media Resources: Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women 9/30/2008, Market Watch 9/29/08
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .