For Immediate Release: 1/28/21

BOSTON – This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $13 million in state and federal grant funding to support the Violence Against Women Act, Services Training Officers Prosecutors (VAWA STOP) and the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr., Community Safety Initiative (Shannon CSI). The grants are targeted to prevent, and respond to violence against women and gang violence in communities across Massachusetts. The state funding for the grants was approved by the Legislature as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. 

“Our Administration remains committed to using every public safety tool available to protect residents and communities from violence,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “For victims and survivors affected by these crimes, especially women and young people, these grants will help to equip victim-support organizations, criminal justice agencies, and community-based partners to respond effectively and compassionately.”  

“Our shared security depends on providing qualified professionals with the resources they need to prevent and respond to crime while supporting victims and survivors,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Chair of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. “The agencies and organizations receiving these funds are bringing hope and healing to the people who need it most, and they strengthen our communities through their commitment to providing survivors and their families with safety nets and critical resources.” 

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which partners with the city of Quincy, received $651,525.80 in Shannon CSI funding, and DOVE, a Quincy non-profit, was awarded a VAWA STOP grant of $74,300. 

“I am pleased to see this anti-violence funding in the district, particularly for an organization like DOVE, which does such important work,” said Senator John Keenan. “The pandemic has highlighted, as with many other causes, the need for heightened support of social service organizations.” 

“DOVE does incredible work in our communities and is committed to promoting awareness and bringing healing to individuals impacted by domestic violence or partner violence,” said Representative Tackey Chan. “DOVE has a strong partnership with the Quincy Police Department and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, and I am grateful that this funding will be used to expand their outreach with specialized domestic violence/sexual assault prosecutors.” 

The 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) marked a turning point in the federal recognition of the extent and seriousness of violence against women and solidified a commitment by the federal government to address the problem by providing federal resources. A total of 37 agencies and organizations received VAWA STOP grants ranging from $25,970 to $229,267, totaling $2.9 million.  

The Shannon CSI Grant Program supports regional and multi-disciplinary approaches to combatting gang violence through coordinated prevention and intervention, law enforcement, prosecution, and reintegration programs. Bringing academic and research centers together with municipalities to address the gang and youth violence in the community, this grant funds enforcement and meaningful alternatives to at-risk and gang-involved young people. Fifteen Shannon Community Safety Initiative sites and 13 Local Action Research Partners received awards from $94,578 to $1.8 million, totaling $9.96 million. 

“As a modern law enforcement agency, the Quincy Police Department sees the value of VAWA and Shannon grants every day on our streets and across Massachusetts,” said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan. “We all have an important part to play in violence prevention, and we remain committed to working with the Baker-Polito Administration and our community-based service providers to meet that goal.” 

“Our VAWA STOP grant has enabled DOVE to grow meaningful partnerships with eight police departments since 2008, with Quincy PD as the anchor and core partner,” said Sue Chandler, Executive Director of DOVE, Inc. “With Civilian DV Advocates contacting victims after police are dispatched on a DV call, DOVE staff are able to reach victims who didn’t know about the broad array of services available through DOVE. Their confidentiality is protected because we are an independent organization. The partnership provides a lifesaving path for many victims in situations of great danger.  In coming years we hope to strengthen the model to better serve others for whom reaching out to the criminal legal system hasn’t been a safe option. We are grateful for this continuation funding from EOPPS [the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security].”