(MIAMI, March 21, 2013) – The United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has announced that Miami-Dade County is one of 12 counties and cities around the country to receive a grant ranging from $100,000 to $200,000, for an initiative to prevent and reduce domestic violence and domestic violence related homicides. The grant comes from the first-ever Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative (DVHP Initiative), created by the OVW, to help minimize domestic violence homicides by effectively identifying potential victims and monitoring high-risk offenders.
The new DVHP Initiative is based on an assessment tool that researchers have identified that can be used to reliably recognize women who may be in fatally abusive relationships. Attempted strangulation, threats with weapons, sexual assault and obsessively jealous and controlling behavior are among the markers of particularly lethal abusers. Once at-risk victims are identified, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts and service providers can take action to protect them and their families.
“Ensuring the safety of our residents is at the heart of what we do as a government, and this Federal grant will help us to meet that vital goal by protecting local women who are at the highest risk of domestic abuse,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
“The focus of our work has always been for the benefit of our residents, and we are very thankful and fortunate that Miami-Dade County was chosen to receive this grant,” said Miami-Dade County Deputy Mayor Russell Benford. “It will only enable us further to help those in need in our community.”
The DVHP Initiative is modeled after programs in Massachusetts and Maryland, where the use of coordinated teams of law enforcement, prosecutors, health professionals and victims’ services significantly reduced the domestic violence homicide rate. For more information on the OVW and the DVHP Initiative, please visit, www.ovw.usdoj.gov.