Healey-Driscoll Administration awards nearly $4 million to combat human trafficking and other gender-based offenses

During Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced awards through two grant programs that will enhance enforcement and victim services for survivors of human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence, and stalking. The awards were announced today during a meeting of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking.

Suffolk County received two grants.  One grant was for $98,242 for Training and $146,915 for Prosecution Award .

Grants totaling $472,428.50 were awarded to six District Attorney’s Offices through the FY24 Human Trafficking Enforcement and Training Grant Program. Now in its second year, this state grant program was designed to support prosecutors’ efforts to combat human trafficking and enhance their capacity to identify, assist, and provide referral services to those most impacted.

In addition, $3,311,842.74 in federal funding was awarded to 43 state, local, and nonprofit agencies through the FFY23 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant program. Agencies selected through a competitive application process to receive awards in 2022 were invited to apply for continued funding. The recipients are eligible for up to two additional years of funding, which is provided through the Department of Justice (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

The Office of Grants and Research (OGR) manages and administers both grant programs in Massachusetts. OGR program coordinators will work with grant recipients to provide reporting and programmatic assistance throughout the grant period.

“In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we reaffirm our deep commitment to ensuring that every person can live with dignity, respect and free from fear and abuse,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This grant funding will support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and stalking by investing in programs that promote healing and justice. These grants allow professionals from diverse sectors to provide survivors with access to culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services.”

“These grants represent our ongoing commitment to ending exploitation, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” said Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, chair of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking. “The grant recipients have a proven record of delivering quality services to prevent, reduce, and address these crimes and to provide victims with the services they need and deserve as they move toward healing.”

“Everyone deserves to feel safe. These grant programs support the vital efforts of community service providers to help survivors as they recover and rebuild their lives. This funding also supports law enforcement and their ability to send a clear message to the perpetrators that they will be held accountable for these heinous crimes,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrence Reidy.

“The VAWA program is a longstanding initiative allowing us to build partnerships with service providers and law enforcement to support effective approaches to reducing sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. The Human Trafficking Enforcement and Training Grant Program is a new, innovative program assisting in investigations, prosecutions, outreach, and delivery of services,” said OGR Executive Director Kevin Stanton. “We are committed to working with program partners to strengthen responses to these crimes from courts, law enforcement, and prosecutors while enhancing the services available to survivors.”

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