A collaboration to help victims of domestic violence is heading into a second year of funding. Erie County awarded $375,000 through the 'STOP Grant' from the United States Department of Justice.
STOP is part of the federal Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA. Each year, the grant brings in $125,000 over three years. This grant not only providing funding for necessary tools but is bringing together all agencies involved, including VAWA services, the District Attorney's Office, law enforcement across the county, and victim services. This year, officers will continue to be trained and equipment has been purchased for three local agencies.
CEO of SafeNet, Linda Lyons King, tells us, "this is a way for police officers to go out and do a very quick assessment on the lethality issues that might be present in a domestic violence and then try to link that person with domestic violence services. What we know is that if there's a link, even if it's short, brief telephone; women don't get killed."
Law enforcement agencies say this is helping them collect more evidence at the scene to help hopefully prosecute more people.
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