Biden Announces Grants Targeting Domestic Violence Homicides

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Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday announced grants for 12 programs targeting domestic violence homicides.

In total, the Department of Justice will award $2.3 million as part of the new Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative (DVHP Initiative), which helps local law enforcement identify potential victims and monitor high-risk offenders. It 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,” according to a White House press release.

Forty percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2012 began with the shooter targeting his girlfriend, wife or ex-wife, according to the White House. An average of three women die each day because of domestic violence.

At a press conference in Maryland, attended by both the Vice President and the Attorney General, Biden said that law enforcement will be trained to monitor predictive behavior, such as attempted strangulation and sexual assault.

“This isn't your garden variety slap across the face, which is not acceptable in and of itself,” Biden said, according to the Washington Post.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed an expanded version of the Violence Against Women Act, which was originally drafted by Biden and passed in 1994. At the press conference yesterday, Biden recalled being “pilloried” when he led the first Senate hearings on violence against women in the early 1990s.

For a White House release on the link between gun violence and domestic violence, click HERE.

For a White House release on President Barack Obama's commitment to reducing domestic violence homicides, click HERE.

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