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The STOP formula grant promotes a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to enhancing advocacy and improving the criminal justice system's response to violent crimes against women. It encourages the development and improvement of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and the development and improvement of advocacy and services in cases involving violent crimes against women.
Under federal law, states are required to have a three-implementation plan for investment of formula grant funds that reflects a multi-faceted planning process. OJA’s VAWA Advisory Committee provide the agency with strategic direction, needs assessments, and assistance with development of the state’s plan.
Nine program areas are identified in Wisconsin’s plan:
Justice system training
Health Care education
Community Coordinated Response
Local Program and Technical Assistance
Assessment, Evaluation, and Planning
VAWA funds are distributed across the nine program areas identified in the statewide plan according to required percentages for four mandated categories in categories outlined in federal law:
30% must be directed to victim service agencies (domestic violence and sexual assault). Within this 30%, federal law requires 10% of funds must go to culturally competent programs serving underserved populations
25% to law enforcement
15% OJA distributes this money across the 9 program areas outlined in the required statewide VAWA implementation plan
VAWA Domestic Violence funding is limited to expansions and enhancements to domestic violence/sexual assault core services (VAWA does not fund core services). VAWA is the only source of federal money for Sexual Assault work. VAWA funding used for domestic violence/sexual assault services directs money to projects for underserved populations (the elderly, racial/ethnic populations with unique needs).
SASP is the first federal funding stream solely dedicated to the provision of direct intervention and related assistance for victims of sexual assault. The purpose of SASP is to provide intervention, advocacy, accompaniment, support services, and related assistance for adult, youth, and child victims of sexual assault, family and household members of victims, and those collaterally affected by the sexual assault.
The SASP supports efforts to help survivors heal from sexual assault trauma through direct intervention and related assistance from social service organizations such as rape crisis centers through 24-hour sexual assault hotlines, crisis intervention, and medical and criminal justice accompaniment. The SASP will support such services through the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of rape crisis centers and other programs and projects to assist those victimized by sexual assault.
The VAWA Advisory Committee believes that level of direct service available to victims of sexual assault in Wisconsin is not sufficient to meet their needs and contributes to the under-reporting rate. WCASA recognizes 43 Sexual Assault Service Providers (SASP’s) providing services in 55 Counties; 18 of these are providers located in an adjacent county.
Sexual assault is the number one underreported crime in the US and in Wisconsin. The FBI indicates that an average of 33% of SA victims report to Law Enforcement. At a minimum, Wisconsin reporting rates fall 14% below the average reporting rate. Barriers to reporting include re-victimizing behaviors of the Justice System players and the community based “knowledge” of those patterns.
The U.S. Department of Public Health Center for Disease Control estimates one in seven women in Wisconsin will be assaulted in her lifetime, as will one in six boys. Applying these statistics, projection of actual occurrence is possible: if half of Wisconsin’s population of five million are women and twenty years represent a generation, then there would be 17,857 female victims/year, across the lifetime age span; if half of the five million are men and 30% of these are boys, there would be 6,250 boy victims/year; totaling 24,357 victims each year who should be reporting sexual assaults to Wisconsin law enforcement agencies.
The OJA Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) compiles FBI Uniform Crime Report for Wisconsin and publishes an Annual Sexual Assault Report based in subset data collected as part of that effort. The 2009 report shows that 4,633 people reported SA of any kind, in any age group. This number represents 19% of those 24,357 people/yr experiencing SA. If the generational divider of 20 years is removed (assuming that people die and are born every day), the number of victims climbs to 482,142/year with a corresponding reporting rate of .01 %.