Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.7 Million to Combat Violence Against Women

Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence announced 2018 Action Plan
For immediate release:
  • Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
  • Daniel Bennett, EOPSS Secretary
  • Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
  • Governor's Press Office

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.7 Million to Combat Violence Against Women

Brendan Moss, Deputy Communications Director

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announces VAWA STOP grant awards.

QUINCY — Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett announced that 37 grants totaling $2.7 million have been awarded to community-based organizations, police departments, and state agencies to develop and strengthen law enforcement response, prosecution strategies, and victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women. These grants were made possible through the Violence Against Women Act’s (VAWA) Services Training Officers Prosecutors (VAWA STOP) Grant Program. The VAWA STOP Program is administered by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research. The administration also announced the 2018 Action Plan for the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

“Support through the VAWA STOP Program allows our partner organizations to implement innovative approaches to address the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Baker. “This funding is critical in strengthening the essential role that law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim services professionals play in cases of violent crimes against women and in making Massachusetts a safer state for all.”

“The VAWA STOP Program is an essential component to our comprehensive strategies to ensure the safety of victims and to hold offenders accountable for their crimes,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito, Chair of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. “We are also pleased to announce the 2018 Action Plan for the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence and look forward to working with council members to deliver several helpful work products over the next year.”  

“We are pleased to provide these awards to organizations that have demonstrated expertise in their respective program areas across Massachusetts,” said Secretary Bennett. “We look forward to continuing our strong partnerships with these recipients in order to advance the critical missions that these organizations fulfill.”

“We deeply appreciate the support of the Commonwealth through its administration of the VAWA STOP grant to support some of our staff time assisting survivors who come in contact with the police,” said Sue Chandler, Executive Director of DOVE. “Our VAWA STOP grant allows DOVE staff to reach out to those survivors and alert them to services available from DOVE. They may otherwise not know we exist. For these survivors, this outreach can be a lifeline.”

In April 2015, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 563, re-launching the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Last fall, the Council announced the launch of work groups in five priority areas identified by the Council and the administration: Response and Assessment, Housing Stability and Self Sufficiency, Human Trafficking: Children, Prevention Education Early Ed through Campus and Veteran/Military Families. The Council and the administration today announced the 2018 Action Plan for each work group, detailing year-end deliverables.  

The 2018 Action Plan includes:

Response and Assessment:

  • To provide final recommendations of the Law Enforcement DV Toolkit pilot program in a report to the Council;
  • To provide completed guidelines and standard operating practices for domestic violence high risk teams including law enforcement, District Attorneys and intimate partner abuse organizations to the Council;

Housing Stability and Self Sufficiency:

  • To review the implementation of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization and provide a written report including gaps and recommendations for training, collaboration and system and policy changes;
  • To work in partnership with the Department of Housing and Community Development to increase collaboration between the Council and shelters, housing systems and subsidized housing models to expand housing options and promote existing best practice solutions by re-releasing Violence Against Women guidance to local housing authorities;

Human Trafficking: Children:

  • To research best practice child trafficking policies and programs across the United States and complete a report to inform policy and development of services for high risk and trafficked youth in Massachusetts in conjunction with the Department of Children and Families;
  • To explore opportunities to expand policy for child sexual exploitation cases and provide the Department of Youth Services with a written report on strategy;
  • To provide a report to the Administration identifying ways to develop enhanced training for child advocacy centers, district attorneys, state agencies and law enforcement in the identification, response and support for child sexual exploitation cases;
  • To provide protocols in handling child trafficking cases for collaboration between High Risk Units and State Police Specialty Units under the 5th division to multi-jurisdiction and local law enforcement partners;  

Prevention and Education:

  • To work with the Executive Office of Education (EOE) to create a sexual and intimate partner violence prevention and awareness “Skills Chart” across educational sectors and develop a plan for adoption and implementation;

Veteran/Military Families

  • To have a military representative in attendance at annual trainings and meetings for civilian intimate partner abuse education programs and have a 100 percent attendance rate;
  • To collaborate with the Office for Victims of Crime federal agency to provide technical assistance in creating best practice recommendations for standards of practice in delivering military-civilian sexual assault and domestic violence training;

The Violence Against Women Act was passed by Congress in 1994 and marked a turning point in the federal recognition of the extent and seriousness of violence against women, and solidified a commitment by the government to address the problem by providing federal resources for the issue. Over the last four years, nearly $10 million in VAWA funds have been granted statewide to support domestic and sexual abuse victims and their families.

Funding Category


Recommended Award


Administrative Office of the Trial Court



Category Total






Adams PD



Asian Task Force



Bedford Police Department



Behavioral Health



DOVE, Inc.



Jewish Family & Children’s Services



Martha’s Vineyard Community Services



Northeast Legal Aid, Inc.



Our Deaf Survivors Center



The Network/La Red



Category Total





Law Enforcement

Assumption College PD



Boston PD



Cambridge PD



Fitchburg PD



Hampden County Sheriff



MA Department of Corrections



MA Department of Public Health



Mashpee PD



Pittsfield PD



Worcester PD



Yarmouth PD



Category Total






Bristol County DA



MA District Attorney’s Association



Norfolk County DA



Northwestern DA



Worcester County DA



Category Total





Victim Services

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center



Boston Medical Center Domestic Violence Program



Community Legal Services and Counseling Center



Elizabeth Freeman Center, Inc.



Independence House, Inc.



Pathways for Change, Inc.






RIA House, Inc.



Safe Passage, Inc. 






Category Total





All Categories

Total Amount to be Awarded



Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $2.7 Million to Combat Violence Against Women

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security 

EOPSS is responsible for the policy development and budgetary oversight of its secretariat agencies, independent programs, and several boards which aid in crime prevention, homeland security preparedness, and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth.

Governor's Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence 

The Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence works to enact best practices to combat issues of sexual assault and domestic violence in order to keep Massachusetts residents safe.

Governor's Press Office 

Visit the Governor’s Press Office to learn about recent news from the administration, follow our happenings on social media, and for media contact information.

Help Us Improve with your feedback