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JULY 27, 1998202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, DC -- At the opening of a battered women's shelter in Cincinnati today, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the release of a Department of Justice report on national efforts to combat violence against women. The report, "Evaluation of the STOP Formula Grants to Combat Violence Against Women," details the accomplishments made as a result of funding provided annually to the states, territories, and the District of Columbia under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Overall, the report notes, there has been a shift in how the states and local communities address violence against women. The evaluators documented that the STOP planning and grant-making process has been the catalyst for improving how law enforcement, prosecution and nonprofit victim service agencies are working together.

"This report confirms that we are making progress toward the reduction of domestic violence in the United States," said First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. "However, we must continue to fight this problem that, tragically, is a part of the daily lives of too many women."

Forty-two states have set a minimum level of domestic violence training for police recruits, and a survey of state prosecutors found that the majority also provide training in domestic violence. STOP funds support this training. The report cites improved police handling of domestic violence incidents, interagency coordination, establishment of multi-disciplinary response teams and higher conviction rates. There is also increased victim cooperation and satisfaction.

"We are pleased that this report also cited the value of the technical assistance we provide to the states," added Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, the agency that administers the grants. "This support, which includes such things as regular, on-site consultations and the development and dissemination of resource materials, assists the states with a range of activities from planning to modeling best practices tested elsewhere in the nation."

The Act, part of the President's 1994 Crime Bill, provides funding to the states through the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) grants for law enforcement, prosecution and victim services to prevent and respond to violence against women. Each state, territory and the District of Columbia receives a specific amount based on a population-based formula. The report being released today details the achievements realized thus far through STOP funding.

In Fiscal Year 1995, the first year, the STOP program allocated $26 million nationwide. In Fiscal Year 1996, it grew to $130 million, $ 145 million in FY 1997 and $172 million in FY 1998.

The report was prepared by the Urban Institute under a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the research and evaluation arm of the Department of Justice.