October 1, 2019

Indianapolis Receives $1M Grant To Combat Domestic Violence

Julian Center CEO Catherine O'Connor speaks alongside city officials. - Erica Irish/WFYI

Julian Center CEO Catherine O'Connor speaks alongside city officials.

Erica Irish/WFYI

Indianapolis officials announced Tuesday they will receive a $1 million federal grant to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The money will benefit two existing initiatives conducted by the city and its nonprofit partners at the Julian Center, a center that provides rooms and other resources to victims, and the Domestic Violence Network (DVN), an advocacy group that studies domestic violence and its effects.

One of the programs to benefit from the grant is the Baker One Project. This initiative started with a pilot in 2011 and seeks to identify couples at risk before a domestic homicide occurs.

What is known as the Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault will also receive a portion of the grant. This program helps the groups leading domestic violence prevention — a wide coalition that includes nonprofits like the Julian Center and DVN, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office — track reported incidents and stop repeat offenders.

Other dollars from the grant will support a series of community forums and training sessions for IMPD officers and help the Domestic Violence Network continue to manage its database on local domestic violence incidents at www.indydvdata.org. DVN Executive Director Kelly McBride said the database cost about $50,000 to maintain last year alone.

“Domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes,” McBride said in a press release from the city. “Obtaining data as related to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking is very difficult and almost always self-reported.”

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, a federal agency established in 1995 to oversee programs designed to advance the Violence Against Women Act. It has awarded more than $8.1 billion in grants since its inception, according to the agency website.

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