OVERVIEW: The Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Program is authorized by 34 U.S.C. § 12341. Victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in rural communities face unique challenges and barriers to receiving assistance rarely encountered in urban areas. The geographic isolation, transportation barriers, economic structure, particularly strong social and cultural pressures, and lack of available services in rural jurisdictions significantly compound the problems confronted by those seeking support and services to end the violence in their lives. These factors also complicate the ability of the criminal justice system to investigate and prosecute sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases. In addition, socio-cultural, economic, and geographic barriers create difficulties for victim services providers to identify and assist victims of these crimes. Congress established the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Enforcement Grant Program (Rural Program) with the passage of VAWA in 1994 and reauthorized it in the Violence Against Women Act of 2000. The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005) expanded the scope of the Rural Program to include sexual assault and stalking. The purpose of the grant is to enhance the safety of rural victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural areas.
ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible for funding, an applicant must be a State, territory, Indian tribes, local government, or non-profit entity, including tribal nonprofit organizations. However, regardless of whether an application is submitted by an entity from a rural state or a non-rural state, all applicants must target services in a rural area or community. The statute defines the terms “rural area” and “rural community” as:
(A) any area or community, respectively, no part of which is within an area designated as a standard metropolitan statistical area by the Office of Management and Budget;
(B) any area or community, respectively, that is--
(i) within an area designated as a metropolitan statistical area or considered as part of a metropolitan statistical area; and
(ii) located in a rural census tract; or
(C) any federally recognized Indian tribe.
PURPOSE AREAS: Funds under the Rural Program may be used for the following purposes:
1. To identify, assess and appropriately respond to child, youth, and adult victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in rural communities, by encouraging collaboration among sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking victim service providers; law enforcement agencies; prosecutors; courts; other criminal justice service providers; human and community service providers; educational institutions; and health care providers, including sexual assault forensic examiners;
2. To establish and expand nonprofit, nongovernmental, state, tribal, territorial, and local government victim services in rural communities to child, youth, and adult victims; and/or
3. To increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities by: A) dealing directly and immediately with sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking occurring in rural communities; and B) creating and implementing strategies to increase awareness and prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking.
Funding is competitive and based upon funds available from the Office on Violence Against Women.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Laura A. Russell, Grant Programs Specialist, Federal Grants Division, at 405-264-5008 or via email at email@example.com.