DesJarlais, Congress Put Critical Funding For Domestic Violence Programs At Risk

MURFREESBORO: Critical funding used in Tennessee to fight domestic violence is at risk because of a lack of support for an historically bipartisan bill. The Violence Against Women Act, originally passed in 1994, expires at the end of September. As of today, it has no Republican cosponsors.

“It seems like there is no issue that is not partisan anymore,” said Mariah Phillips, a public school teacher and mother of five running for Congress in Tennessee’s 4th District. “This bill provides critical funding for law enforcement and domestic violence shelters that is being used very effectively in Tennessee. We can’t afford to lose it.”

According to the State of Tennessee, STOP Grants (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) created by the Violence Against Women Act fund projects in all three grand divisions and in rural, suburban and urban areas across the state.

“To me, this is exactly the problem with Washington, DC. This is good legislation that is working and it should be continued. I can’t understand why Congressman DesJarlais would not be a cosponsor of a bill with the sole purpose of helping those dealing with domestic violence and bringing abusers to justice,” added Phillips.

As of May 15, 2017, the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs reports STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grants funded the following projects:

  • 3 court projects (one of which was a training grant), supporting 10 counties;

  • 10 law enforcement projects (7 law enforcement officer grants and 2 law enforcement training grants and 1 hybrid officer/training grant), supporting 13 counties;

  • 8 prosecutor projects and one training grant, supporting 22 counties; and

  • 13 victim services projects (including 1 grant to a culturally specific project; and two training grants), supporting 48 counties.