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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 26, 1999

      Also Announces Reno to Study Strategies to Stop Cyber Stalking

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that the federal government will provide $223 million to help states and communities detect and stop violence against women and provide shelter for the victims of domestic violence.

"There is no greater affront to our laws, to our families, or to the human spirit than domestic violence -- acts of terror and abuse committed by a spouse or a partner," Vice President Gore said. "That is why President Clinton and I have worked hard to provide grants that help law enforcement and domestic violence networks work together to help us end the scourge of domestic violence in our country."

The Vice President announced two separate grant programs to help stop domestic violence and hold abusers accountable. Both grants finance efforts by communities to create and adopt locally responsive approaches that encourage collaboration among all sectors, including victim service providers, victims' advocates, prosecutors, police officers, and judges involved in the fight to end violence against women.

Specifically, the programs include:

       S.T.O.P Violence Against Women Formula Grants: Under the S.T.O.P
     (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) grant program
     administered by the Justice Department, 56 States and Territories 
     will receive a portion of over $138 million to develop and 
     strengthen the criminal justice system's response to violence 
     against women and to support and enhance services for victims.  
     The states must allocate at least 25 percent of the grant funds to 
     law enforcement, 25 percent to prosecution, and 25 percent to 
     victim services.

      Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies: The Justice Department will
     award thirty-two States and five Territories will receive a 
     portion of $23 million to help coordinate involvement of their 
     entire criminal justice systems in the fight to end domestic 
     violence.  Grant funds may be used for implementing mandatory or 
     pro-arrest programs and policies; developing policies and training 
     in criminal justice agencies; improve tracking of domestic 
     violence cases; and creating centralized domestic violence units 
     consisting of police, prosecutors, and the judiciary or other 
     criminal justice agencies.

     The Vice President also announced a federal grant to helps states

protect victims of domestic violence:

      Battered Women's Shelter Grants: The Department of Health and 
     Human Services Battered Women's Shelter Grants will provide over 
     $62 million which is distributed by States to local domestic 
     violence agencies and service providers and used to provide 
     shelter for women and children.  The grants will also be used for 
     counseling to victims of domestic violence; legal advocacy and 
     assistance services; emergency assistance, such as transportation 
     and food; information and referral services; community education; 
     services to men who batter; as well as connections to other 
     services, such as child protection.

     In addition to the grants, the Vice President also announced that 

he has asked Attorney General Reno to conduct a comprehensive review of "cyber stalking" and to report back to him in 90 days on strategies to combat this serious problem. "Cyber stalking" is persistent or unwanted threats or harassment that are communicated via Internet.

"The information age has brought us different threats to the safety of women and children. The Internet is presenting us with cases we have never seen before," Vice President Gore said. "And make no mistake -- this kind of the harassment can be as frightening and as real as being followed and watched in your neighborhood or in your home."

The Clinton-Gore Administration has taken strong steps to fight domestic violence. They fought for and the President signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as part of the 1994 Crime Act. For the first time, VAWA enabled the federal government to work in partnership with states and communities to enact a comprehensive approach to fighting domestic violence and violence against women, combining tough new penalties with programs to prosecute offenders and services to help women victims of violence. Today, the Vice President reaffirmed the Administration's commitment to strengthening efforts to fight domestic violence by voicing support for the reauthorization of VAWA.