Working in partnership with the coalition, the Domestic Violence Program coordinates and administers statewide funding and activities to address domestic violence crimes. Florida’s $39 million budget for domestic violence prevention and services is funded through multiple sources that include:
Capital Improvement Program
The purpose of the program is to provide grants to certified domestic violence centers in Florida to construct, repair, improve or upgrade systems, facilities or equipment. For more information, please visit: Past Capital Improvement Grant Awards
Domestic Violence Diversion Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Many victims of domestic violence depend on temporary economic assistance to enable their escape from an abusive relationship. However, compliance to program requirements, in some cases would make it more difficult for the victim to escape or may put them at risk for further violence. Recognizing that TANF program standards may unfairly penalize those who have been victimized by domestic violence, the legislature enacted the Domestic Violence Diversion Program. This program allows temporary suspension of work and training requirements when the victim is unable to comply due to safety considerations or the effects of past violence. The Diversion Program is modeled after federal law with the intent of providing the type of support that will allow a victim to ultimately enter the work force, but at the same time, provide for the transition from welfare to work in the safest manner.
Domestic Violence Trust Fund
The primary source of state funding for domestic violence centers is the Domestic Violence Trust Fund. Funds provide for center operations and essential services such as emergency shelters, local hotlines, counseling and advocacy, immediate crisis response, and comprehensive support to help survivors rebuild their lives. These services are core to ending domestic violence. The source of funds is from fees of both marriage licenses and dissolution of marriages, and fines for specific domestic violence crime convictions.
Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) Grant Program
FVPSA is the first and only federal funding dedicated directly to domestic violence centers for operations and essential services. The Department receives the FVPSA grant, a federal formula grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each year. Through the allocation of these grant funds the Department supports the work of our primary partners, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the state’s 42 certified domestic violence centers.
The Domestic Violence Program provides TANF funding to the Department certified domestic violence centers for the provision of counseling and supportive services to TANF eligible victims. During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, centers provided these services to 47,062 adults and children.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grant Program
The Domestic Violence Program administers two grants under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grants include an annual formula grant, the STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecution) grant, and a discretionary grant, Grants to Encourage Arrest.
The STOP Program promotes a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to enhancing advocacy and improving the response to violent crimes against women by the criminal justice system. Funding is distributed, as mandated by VAWA, to each discipline by percentages: 30% to victim services, 25% to law enforcement, 25% to prosecutors, 5% to courts, and 15% discretionary. The Domestic Violence Program generally applies discretionary funds to victim services. Federal regulations require the funding be allocated geographically based on identified needs and resources.
The Grants to Encourage Arrest is a competitive grant designed to encourage states and local governments to treat domestic violence, date violence, sexual assault, and stalking as serious violations of criminal law. The program seeks to ensure that a coordinated community response is paramount to ensuring victim safety and perpetrator accountability for their crimes.