09.26.08

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES $150,000 FOR FAMILIES VICTIMIZED BY DOMESTIC ABUSE IN TOMPKINS COUNTY

Federal Funds will Support Increased Supervised Family Visits and Exchange Options, Develop New Policies and Procedures

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women has awarded $150,000 to Tompkins County under the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program. With this new funding, Tompkins County, in collaboration with the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Family Court, will increase supervised visitation and exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault or stalking.

 

"There are few things more important than aiding victims of domestic violence," Schumer said. "With these funds, Safe Havens can provide a safe, comfortable environment for supervised visits and exchanges."  

 

The Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) was authorized as a twoyear pilot program under the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 to increase supervised visitation and exchange options for families with a history of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault or stalking. By statute, projects funded under the Supervised Visitation Program must demonstrate expertise in the area of family violence, provide a sliding fee scale for clients, demonstrate adequate security measures, and prescribe standards and protocols by which supervised visitation or safe exchanges will occur.

 

Tompkins County and its collaborative partners, the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Family Court, will use this 24month cooperative agreement to develop and implement a strategic plan to provide supervised visitation and safe exchanges of children by and between parents in situations involving domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Specific project goals will include conducting a community needs assessment, establishing a consulting committee, developing a referral system, increasing communication with the local courts, and developing operating policies and procedures.

 

In 2005, Schumer fought to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Schumer supported efforts to strengthen the VAWA by expanding grant programs, supporting rural areas, and protecting victims. The original VAWA bill was authored by Schumer in the House of Representatives.



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