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bullet 2006 Report to Congress on the STOP Grant Program
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Welcome Message From OVW Director Cindy Dyer

Welcome to the OVW Website

Photo of Cindy Dyer

Welcome to the homepage for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)! OVW is committed to raising awareness and supporting training and services responding to incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Our office currently administers 12 grant programs to communities that are developing programs and policies aimed at ending these crimes and providing help to victims. I encourage you to learn more about the grant programs, policies, and services offered by OVW as you navigate the website. By clicking on the navigation bar to the left, you can view the latest grant program solicitations, updates on special initiatives, newly-created fact sheets, resources, and other helpful information to improve our country’s capacity to reduce violence against women, both at home and abroad. Thank you for taking the time to visit!

Cindy Dyer
Director, Office on Violence Against Women

2008 Tribal Consultation


The 2008 Tribal Consultation in Hollywood, Florida scheduled for Monday, September 8 and Tuesday, September 9 is POSTPONED until further notice due to the arrival of Hurricane Ike. We will reschedule the Tribal Consultation as soon as possible.

Please check OVW's website and the OVW Tribal Consultation website regularly for updates on the new date. We sincerely regret the inconvenience.

Task Force on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women

Task Force on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women Convenes in Washington, DC

Top L to R: OVW Director Cindy Dyer, Arlen Quetawki, Patricia McGeshick,
Bernadette LaSarte, Vikki Shirley, Lori Jump, Denise Morris, Dana Grey Jim,
Angela Moore (NIJ). Bottom L to R: OVW Tribal Deputy Director Lorraine Edmo,
Jolanda Ingram, Cheryl Neskahi Coan, Jaqueline Agtuca, Karen Artichoker,
Shannon Bears Cozzoni, Nancy Soctomah, Pamela Iron, Christine Crossland (NIJ).
Not pictured: Virginia Davis, The Honorable Billy Jo Jones and Theresa Two Bulls
The Task Force on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women convened for the first time on August 20-21, 2008 at the U.S. Department of JusticeOVW Director Cindy Dyer served as the Designated Federal Officer for the Task Force Federal Advisory Committee. OVW Director Dyer was joined by Associate Deputy Director for the Office of Research and Evaluation at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Dr. Angela Moore, and OVW’s Deputy Director for Tribal Affairs Lorraine Edmo.

To read more about the Section 904 Task Force mandated by the Violence Act Against Women Act of 2005, please visit our Safety for Indian Women section.

Cut It Out Launches in Empire Cosmetology Schools

Empire Education Group Announces National Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign

OVW Director Cindy participated in a press conference launching a campaign called "Empire Gives Back" to support CUT IT OUT, a program that teaches salon professionals to recognize signs of domestic violence and safely refer clients to resources and people that can help them.  The anti-domestic violence campaign is sponsored by Empire Education Group.   Read the Empire Gives Back press release.

Delivering remarks at the August 6, 2008 launch in Philadelphia, PA , Cindy Dyer lauded the program, "By engaging and training salon professionals to recognize and assist a victim of domestic abuse, we have another tool to reach those who may be suffering in silence and who are unsure where or how to seek help in their own communities.  Launching the national adoption of the CUT IT OUT curriculum in Empire Schools is a significant endeavor that can help women, families and communities prevent domestic violence."

Photo Courtesy of Empire Education Group
From L to R: Frank K. Schoeneman, Chairman and CEO, Empire Education Group; Cynthia Figueroa, Executive Director, Women Against Abuse; Cindy Dyer, Director, Office on Violence Against Women; Laurie Magid, Acting U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Diane Mooney, Founder, CUT IT OUT; Lynne Abraham, District Attorney, Philadelphia; Pat Meehan, Former U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Reaction to the Giles Decision

OVW Director Cindy Dyer's Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision in Giles v. California

A recent Supreme Court decision affects the admissibility of evidence in domestic violence prosecutions when the victim is unable or unwilling to testify as a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct.

The Supreme Court in Giles v. California clarified the elements of the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing exception to the Confrontation Clause. The ruling holds that forfeiture applies when a prosecutor shows that the defendant wrongfully caused the victim’s absence and did so with the purpose of preventing the victim’s testimony or cooperation. This opinion establishes a constitutional minimum for admission of unconfronted prior statements of the victim under the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing doctrine. While the Court rejected the view that merely causing the witness’ unavailability was sufficient to establish forfeiture, it offered guidance for inferring the necessary intent in the domestic violence context. The Court recognized that "[a]cts of domestic violence often are intended to dissuade a victim from resorting to outside help, and include conduct designed to prevent testimony to police officers or cooperation in criminal prosecutions," and that such acts may support an inference of "intent to isolate the victim and to stop her from reporting abuse to the authorities or cooperating with a criminal prosecution-rendering her prior statements admissible under the forfeiture doctrine." Two concurring justices added that "the element of intention would normally be satisfied by the intent inferred on the part of the domestic abuser in the classic abusive relationship."

Domestic violence cases can and must continue to be aggressively pursued, and the forfeiture-by-wrongdoing doctrine is an important tool in these prosecutions. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will collaborate with key partners, experts in the field, law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system to address this new development so that offenders are held accountable.

Press Release


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