Vermont has been awarded $9 million in federal funds to help support victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes. The new funding comes as Vermont faces a sharp increase in the number of individuals seeking shelter from domestic violence:
Vermont will receive more than $9 million in federal funding to support victims of domestic violence and other violent crime in some of the state’s most underserved areas, Sen. Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday in Middlebury. People fleeing violence in rural areas often struggle to find the help and resources they need, he said. “So often in small towns we can’t talk about this problem,” said Leahy, D-Vt. The grants totaling $9.3 million have been awarded to 12 organizations including WomenSafe Inc., the Pride Center of Vermont, the Association of Africans Living in Vermont, and Middlebury College. Ten of the grants were funded through the Violence Against Women Act, and two through the Victims of Crime Act. According to Leahy, the money will come from federal fines and penalties, not taxpayer dollars. Raising a cap on the Crime Victims Fund, which Leahy pushed as the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has led to a threefold annual increase in the funding available for such programs, he said.