The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the following between 1992 and 2001:
- Indians experienced a per capita rate of violence twice that of the U.S. resident population;
- Indians were more likely to be victims of assault and rape/sexual assault committed by a stranger or acquaintance rather than an intimate partner or family member; and
- Nearly 80% of Indian victims of rape/sexual assault described the offender as white.
Studies also indicate that Indian women suffer a disproportionate level of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Responding to this critical need, Congress appropriated resources in VAWA 2000 for the development and operation of nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions in Indian country. The purpose of the Tribal Coalitions Program is to build the capacity of survivors, advocates, Indian women’s organizations, and victim services providers to form nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions to advance the goal of ending violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women.
SCOPE OF PROGRAM
A coalition is a group of individuals, victim services providers and/or organizations working together in a common effort, for a common purpose to make more effective and efficient use of resources. The common purpose of tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions must include the following: supporting and developing the leadership of the tribal coalition to effect social change and systemic reform in response to ending violence against Indian women; ensuring the safety of Indian victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault; and promoting the accountability of offenders. The leadership and expertise of Indian survivors who have been battered and/or sexually assaulted or persons who have experience working with Indian victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault are critical to the successful development and operation of nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions.
Grant funds must be used for activities in compliance with the following statutory purposes:
- Increasing awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women;
- Enhancing the response to violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women at the tribal, Federal, and State levels; and
- Identifying and providing technical assistance to coalition membership and tribal communities to enhance access to essential services to American Indian women victimized by domestic and sexual violence.
Grant funds may be used for, but are not limited to the following activities:
- Establishing the tribal coalition and maintaining an office and hiring staff (reasonable costs in connection with the establishment of an organization are allowable);
- Providing technical assistance to coalition members, programs, organizations, and service providers;
- Expanding the capacity of coalitions;
- Developing or enhancing appropriate standards of services for service providers;
- Conducting statewide, regional, and/or tribally-based meetings or workshops for tribal victim advocates, survivors, community members, legal services staff, health care professionals, and criminal justice representatives;
- Bringing local tribal programs together to identify gaps in services and to coordinate activities;
- Coordinating and presenting public awareness or community education programs (including education for youth) to increase understanding of domestic violence and/or sexual assault; and
- Engaging in systems advocacy to effect policy and/or procedural change in order to improve institutional responses to domestic violence and sexual assault, except as prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 1913 and 28 CFR Part 69, which restrict the use of federal funds for the purpose of lobbying. No federal funding made available under this grant program may be used, directly or indirectly, to support the enactment, repeal, modification or adoption of any law, regulation, or policy, at any level of government without the express prior written approval of OVW.
Grant funds may not be used for certain activities. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Hiring a grant writer;
- Addressing child abuse outside the context of domestic violence and/or sexual assault; and
- Engaging in lobbying-related activities, including the development and/or distribution of materials and travel to a state or national meeting for the sole purpose of lobbying (this prohibition pertains to federal, state, local, and tribal lobbying).
Eligible applicants are either established nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal coalitions, or individuals or organizations that propose to incorporate as nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal coalitions will obtain nonprofit status within eight months from the beginning of the project period, that have as their primary mission addressing domestic violence and/or sexual assault against American Indian and/or Alaska Native women.
Coalitions are not required to organize across a particular type of geographic entity. Eligible applicants may include (but are not limited to): local tribal coalitions and regional tribal coalitions. Moreover, eligible coalitions may choose to focus on domestic violence or sexual assault, or may develop an approach that addresses both crimes.
The leadership and expertise of Indian survivors who have been battered and/or sexually assaulted or persons who have experience working with Indian victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault must be evident in the development and implementation of any coalition under this program. Members of the nonprofit, nongovernmental coalition should be comprised of domestic violence and/or sexual assault service providers or victim advocacy organizations that work tribally, statewide or regionally to institute systemic reform. In addition, coalitions can have broad-based representation, including elders and youth.
For more information about the Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program, please contact:
Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)
800 K Street, N.W., Suite 920
Washington, D.C. 20530
Link to Tribal Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions Grant Program: http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/TribalCol.htm
List of Tribal Coalitions: http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/tribal_coalitions.htm