State awards $2.8M in grants for domestic violence prevention

The funding will go to nearly forty community organizations

BOSTON (WWLP) – Domestic violence and sexual assault are life-threatening crimes that affect millions of people across the nation.

Throughout the month of October, the state is raising awareness about domestic violence in hopes of saving lives. On Monday, the Baker administration launched five work groups with three goals.

“Prevention, support and empowerment to women and individuals and holding perpetrators accountable,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (R-Massachusetts).

The state also announced $2.8 million in grants under the federal “Violence Against Women Act.”

The funding will go to nearly forty community organizations, local and college campus police departments to help victims of domestic violence. It’ll also help district attorneys bring offenders to justice.

“From the prosecution end to make sure we hold offenders accountable, to make sure that they are properly brought to justice and given services to help change their behavior,” said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.

Strengthening support services is just the first step. Amherst state Representative Ellen Story told 22News that eliminating the stigma around domestic violence is critical to saving lives.

She said, “With more and more women coming out and acknowledging that they have been assaulted – it’s certainly a step in the right direction.”

The Baker administration will spend the next year strengthening policies and programs around domestic violence.