Justice Department to award grants for Alaska Native communities

Justice Department officials said Tuesday they will award $68.2 million in 88 grants to tribal justice systems for services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.  

“For too long, Alaska Native and American Indian communities have endured persistent and disproportionate levels of violence,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “These grants are another step in the Justice Department’s efforts to work in partnership with tribes to deliver justice for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking, and to help make tribal communities safer.” 

The funds, through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), were announced in the wake of Garland’s visit to Alaska in early September to meet with tribal leaders to discuss federal aid for survivors of such violence. 

One National Institute of Justice study found that over 80% of American Indian and Alaska Native individuals have experienced violence in their lifetimes. This includes over 56% of women and 27% of men who have experienced sexual violence, and over 55% of women and 43% of men who have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. 

The funds are to include 48 grants totaling nearly $40 million under OVW’s tribal governments program to support tribes in developing strategies to respond to various domestic violence issues, and support survivor safety, education and prevention strategies. 

Twenty grants totaling $7.6 million are allocated for tribal domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, and $6.5 million to create, maintain and expand services for sexual assault survivors. 


Four grants totaling $6 million will fund support and technical assistance in planning and implementing changes in criminal justice systems to exercise special criminal jurisdiction and for expenses incurred in exercising the jurisdiction.  

Five grants totaling over $1 million will fund salary, training, travel, and supplies for tribal prosecutors designated as special assistant U.S. Attorneys to work directly with the U.S. Attorney’s offices to investigate and prosecute Indian country domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking cases. 

Two grants totaling $994,500 are to finance training and technical assistance on issues related to sexual assault of American Indian and Alaska Native women.