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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont Wins Grant to Prevent Domestic Violence Deaths by Firearms

May 30, 2019

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that Vermont has been selected for the Firearms Technical Assistance Project (FTAP), a program to help communities prevent deaths and injuries caused by domestic abusers’ access to firearms. Vermont is one of seven grant sites nationwide to be selected through a competitive grant process. FTAP provides assistance and training to improve implementation of existing domestic violence and firearm laws. Vermont is the only statewide site that was selected. Other recipients include Brooklyn, NY; Birmingham, AL; Columbus, OH; Spokane, WA, and two as-of-yet selected tribal sites.

The primary goal of FTAP is to help communities assess and improve their implementation of domestic violence and firearms laws to prevent the deaths and injuries that are caused by abusers’ access to firearms. Through FTAP, Vermont will receive intensive training, technical assistance, and support from expert staff, consultants, and mentor communities. Instead of financial support, the grant provides two years of intensive support from topical experts. Community engagement will be a primary focus of the project. FTAP is a program of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

“I am very pleased that Vermont was awarded this opportunity to better address the issue of domestic violence, especially as it relates to firearms,” Attorney General Donovan said. “As a state, we can do better, and I am hopeful this grant will mean progress for Vermont.” According to the state’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission’s 2018 report, 50% of the state’s homicides between 1994-2017 have been domestic-violence-related and 55% of those were committed with firearms, far more than any other method of causing injury. “In domestic violence cases, firearms are often used to intimidate and control a partner, even when the firearm is never used to cause injury. Reducing an abuser’s access to firearms will help us address the overall problem of domestic violence in addition to hopefully reducing our homicide rate,” said Donovan.

The primary project partners in Vermont include the Attorney General’s Office, the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Court Administrator’s Office and the Vermont State Police. National project partners available for technical assistance through this project include: The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ); AEQUITAS – the prosecutor’s resource on violence against women; The Asian-Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (AP Institute); Dr Tricia Bent-Goodley, DVHP Team Project Director from Howard University; The Center for Court Innovation (CCI); The International Association of Chiefs of Police(The IACP); The National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith and Credit; The National Center for State Courts (NCSC); The National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center; The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC); The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities; UJIMA, INC: The National Resource Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community.

Last modified: May 30, 2019