Hoeven Announces $3 Million in Grants to Address Violence Against Women in the Bakken Region

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced $3 million dollars in grants from the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women to help rural and tribal officials prosecute crimes of violence against women and provide services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in the Bakken Region of North Dakota and Montana. Funding for the grants is appropriated to DOJ by Congress, and Hoeven serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Bakken initiative was launched in April 2014 and is the first large scale project targeting resources to support the expansion of services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking as well as aid the local criminal justice system in responding to these crimes in the Bakken region.

“The rapid growth of western North Dakota’s economy and population has also brought challenges, including crimes against women,” Hoeven said. “These grants are one of the law enforcement resources we’re working to provide for the Bakken, as well as a larger drug enforcement and FBI presence in the region.”

The five grantees supported by the Bakken Region Initiative are: Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Poplar, Montana; First Nations Women’s Alliance, Devils Lake, North Dakota; Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Helena, Montana; North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services, Bismarck, North Dakota; and Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, New Town, North Dakota.

With Justice Department funding these grantees will be able to enhance responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and expand mental health counseling, advocacy, legal assistance, prevention education, sexual assault forensic examiner programs, Sexual Assault Response Teams and law enforcement training.

In addition, the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota are each receiving a three-year $450,000 grant to support a tribal prosecutor, who will serve as a tribal Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) working in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office.