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Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Program

Grants to USA Governments, Nonprofits, and Tribes in
Rural Areas to Prevent Crimes and Improve Rural Safety

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/27/20 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA rural states and territories, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes to improve safety and prevent crimes of violence and assault in rural areas. Funding is intended to support the expansion and creation of victim services in rural areas; assessment and implementation of effective response measures to victims of all ages; and development of strategies to increase awareness and prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program encourages state, local, and tribal governments and courts to treat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking as serious violations of criminal law requiring the coordinated involvement of the entire criminal justice system. 

The Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program includes 22 purpose areas. For the convenience of applicants, the following categories illustrate the types of activities that fall within these purpose areas:

1. Enhanced law enforcement responses, including centralized units, specialized training, improved arrest policies, and protection order enforcement (see purpose areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, and 19).

2. Targeted responses to sexual assault, including sexual assault response teams (SARTs), evidence collection and testing, and specialized policies, protocols, and training (see purpose areas 11, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21).

3. Coordinated community responses, including multidisciplinary teams, comprehensive victim services and support centers (co-located services), and interdisciplinary policy development (see purpose areas 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19, 21, and 22).

4. Enhanced prosecution responses, including centralized units, specialized training, and policy and protocol development (see purpose areas 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, and 19).

5. Improved judicial handling of cases, including centralized courts and dockets, judicial education programs, and protection order issuance and tracking (see purpose areas 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, and 15). 

Applicants interested in proposing activities for any of the above categories may choose from any of the purpose areas listed for that category. However, applicants are not limited to applying to purpose areas in a single category. 

OVW Priority Areas:
1. Reduce violent crime against women and promote victim safety through investing in law enforcement and increasing prosecution. 
2. Address the specific challenges that rural communities face in responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 
For more information about OVW Priority Areas, see:
Applicants that receive funding under this program will be required to engage in the following activities:
  1. OVW-sponsored training and technical assistance.
  2. OVW-sponsored assessment or program evaluation, if applicable.
  3. Provision of services within statutorily defined rural areas and communities. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187490

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Funding levels under this program for FY 2020 are:
1. For applicants addressing purpose areas 1-21:
- $500,000 for projects with a service area population of up to 400,000.
- $750,000 for projects with a service area population of 400,001 to 700,000.
- $1,000,000 for projects with a service area population of 700,001 and above.
- $1,000,000 for statewide projects, regardless of service area population.

For applicants addressing purpose area 22:
- $750,000 for projects with a service area population of up to 400,000.
- $1,000,000 for projects with a service area population of 400,001 to 700,000.
- $1,250,000 for projects with a service area population of 700,001 and above.
- $1,250,000 for statewide projects, regardless of service area population.

Term of Contract:

Anticipated Start Date: October 1, 2020

Length of Award Period:
- 36 months (Purpose Areas 1-21)
- 48 months (Purpose Area 22)

Continuation funding is not guaranteed.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments
  • U.S. Territory or Possession
  • Community Based Organization

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entities are eligible to apply:
1. States and territories.
2. Indian tribes.
3. Local governments.
4. Nonprofit (public or private) entities, including tribal nonprofit organizations and faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements.

Any entity that is eligible for this program based on its status as a nonprofit organization must be an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code.

At least 75% of the total amount of funding made available for this program must be allocated to eligible entities located in “rural states.” The term “rural state” means a state that has a population density of 57 or fewer persons per square mile or a state in which the largest county has fewer than 250,000 people, based on the most recent decennial census.

Rural States: The following states and U.S. territories are designated as “rural” based on the definition of “rural state” and the 2010 Census: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Note: although the District of Columbia is included in the statutory definition of “state,” due to the rural service area program eligibility requirement, the District of Columbia is not eligible for this grant program.

Regardless of whether an application is submitted by an entity from a rural state or a non-rural state, all applicants must target services in a rural area or community. For definitions of the terms “rural area” and “rural community”, see

To see more details about Eligibility:

Coalitions and victim service providers applying as the lead applicant may seek funding to address only purpose areas 5, 10, and 17.

In FY 2020, OVW will accept applications for this program from the following:
- New: Applicants that have never received funding under this program or whose previous Improving Criminal Justice Responses funding expired more than 12 months ago.
- Continuation: Applicants that have an existing or recently closed (within the last 12 months) award under this program.

Recipients of an FY 2018 or FY 2019 award under this program are NOT eligible to apply as the lead applicant on an FY 2020 proposal.

OVW does not fund activities that jeopardize victim safety, deter or prevent physical or emotional healing for victims, or allow offenders to escape responsibility for their actions.

Any nonprofit organization that holds money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding paying the tax described in section 511(a) of the Internal Revenue Code is not eligible for a grant from this program.

Out-of-Scope Activities:

Pre-proposal Conference:

OVW will post a pre-recorded Pre-Application Information Session on its website for entities interested in submitting an application for this program. Listening to this session is optional. Interested applicants who do not listen to the prerecorded session are still eligible to apply.

The session is tentatively scheduled to be available by December 18, 2019 on the OVW website at

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (E.T.) on January 27, 2020. Applications for this program will be submitted through

To submit an application, all applicants must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and register online with the System for Award Management (SAM) and with To ensure sufficient time to complete the registration process, applicants must obtain a DUNS number and register online with SAM and with immediately, but no later than January 10, 2020.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit by email a non-binding Letter of Intent by January 10, 2020. This letter confirms that the applicant has registered with SAM and Submitting a Letter of Intent will not obligate a potential applicant to submit an application. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Intent are still eligible to apply.

OVW anticipates notifying applicants of funding decisions by October 1, 2020.

See this opportunity on Grants.Gov:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

(202) 307-6026.

For technical assistance with, contact the Applicant Support Line at 1-(800)-518-4726.

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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