Merkley, Wyden: Over 32 Million in Federal Funds to Address Domestic Violence and Expand Services for Survivors

Monday, September 19, 2022

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced a total of $3,282,231 in federal grants to help protect Oregonians from domestic violence and stalking and to support survivors.

“All of us want to feel safe in our homes and as we go about our lives, and these grants will help protect more Oregonians from domestic violence,” said Merkley. “I’ll continue working to secure resources that provide safety, support, and protection for people in these situations.”

“The awful threat of domestic violence undermines the safety of far too many households and communities in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “I’m glad Grant and Clatsop counties as well as the state have earned these federal funds to reduce the risks of these crimes, and I’ll keep battling to secure similar resources throughout Oregon.”

  • $1,949,897 to Oregon Department of Justice — STOP Formula Grant Program

The STOP Formula Grant Program encourages partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and victim services organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable in cases of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The goal of the grant program is to develop and strengthen law enforcement, prosecution, and court strategies to combat violent crimes against women and to develop and strengthen victim services, including community-based, culturally specific services, in cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 

  • $636,815 to Grant County — Rural Program 
  • $695,519 to Clatsop County — Rural Program 

Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Program funds are used to support programs that: a) identify, assess, and appropriately respond to child, youth, and adult victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural communities; b) establish and expand victim services in rural communities for child, youth, and adult victims; and/or c) increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities by dealing directly and immediately with domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and creating and implementing strategies to increase awareness and prevent these crimes.

Grantees must use at least one of the following strategies in implementing their projects: a) implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts and projects among law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim service providers, and other related parties to investigate and prosecute incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; b) provide treatment, counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, and other long- and short-term assistance to adult and minor victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural communities; c) work in cooperation with the community to develop education and prevention strategies directed toward such issues; d) develop, enlarge, or strengthen programs addressing sexual assault; and e) develop programs and strategies that focus on the specific needs of victims who reside in remote rural and geographically isolated areas.

“Heart of Grant County is grateful for this funding as it will expand our ability to provide much needed support to survivors of domestic and personal trauma, especially those who have been sexually assaulted,” said Beth Simonsen, Executive Director, Heart of Grant County.

“It’s an honor to be awarded this funding from The Office for Violence Against Women, and The Harbor is so excited to partner with the Astoria Birth Center to increase programs, services, and access to culturally-responsive care for Clatsop County survivors of sexual assault. Survivors are often told that they will need to go to Portland—over 2 hours one way—in order to receive care because there isn’t a qualified medical professional available at either hospital in Clatsop County. This funding and partnership will help ensure that sexual assault survivors have 24/7 access to trauma-informed, confidential forensic and medical exams, including access to medical providers that speak Spanish, and LGBTQIA+ affirming care,” said Terri Steenbergen, Executive Director of The Harbor.

“With overwhelming gratitude, because of this grant Astoria Birth Center & Family Medicine will be able to offer an unprecedented level of support to this community. For the first time, sexual assault survivors in this region will have the opportunity to receive 24/7 access to English or Spanish SANE examinations and support in a calm, peaceful, out-of-hospital setting. This grant furthers the important work carried out by certified nurse midwives, survivors, and the advocates at The Harbor who work together to break cycles of abuse and create healthy families,” said Rebeckah Orton, Founder/Owner, Astoria Birth Center & Family Medicine.