On the Hill Violence Against Women

Attorney General Merrick Garland Asks Congress for $1 Billion for Office of Violence Against Women

On Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland asked Congress for over $35 billion in funding for the Justice Department, including $1 billion for the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW).

The OVW assists state, local, territorial, and tribal programs in working to end gender-based violence. In addition to the $1 billion, $120 million is provided to address the nationwide problem of rape kit backlogs as well as funding new investigative training programs for law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating gender-based violence.

The OVW funding will go to supporting women at historically Black colleges and in Hispanic and tribal institutions; providing funding for domestic violence hotlines, medical services and emergency shelters; and funding services for transgender survivors of domestic abuse.

In addition, the DOJ is seeking $232 million to combat gun violence though improved background checks, comprehensive redflag laws, supporting both DOJ federal law enforcement resources, and community violence intervention programs. In his statement, AG Garland said, “gun deaths continue to occur at a staggering rate in our country. There is more we can do to make our communities safer. This is both a law enforcement issue and a public health issue.”

“We are also stepping up our work on environmental justice. Communities of color, low-income communities, and tribal communities often suffer the most harm from environmental crimes and pollution. Among our efforts, we are seeking increased resources for our Environment and Natural Resources Division to help these vulnerable populations.”

Sources: Department of Justice Budget Request 5/4/21; ABC News 5/4/21; New York Times 5/4/21