Rutland, VT - Rutland County is one of only 12 sites nationwide to receive a grant to fight domestic violence.
Senator Patrick Leahy spoke at the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Stakeholder's luncheon.
This grant is a part of the U.S. Justice Departments new Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative; a program strengthened under Senator Leahy's reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Leaders in Rutland hope to put a stop to murder as a result of domestic violence and help the rest of Vermont and the country do the same.
In the last decade half of all killings in Vermont - were the result of domestic violence.
“These cases are heart breaking. The violence is almost beyond comprehension,” said Senator Leahy.
Under the Violence Against Women Act - the community of Rutland is one of only 12 sites nationwide to receive a 200 thousand dollar grant. The grant will help launch a yearlong effort to help put a stop to domestic violence homicides.
“We've had two horrific homicides this summer, and we know those homicides impact not just the people that were killed but their children and their families and their communities,” said Karen Tronsgard-Scott, the Executive Director of Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
To help those in need leaders say they are working to create a system where the community works together to respond to cases of domestic violence.
“What this does, it's going to help this community create a system for responding to domestic violence that will increase the safety of domestic violence victims, and decrease the likelihood that domestic violence victims will be victims of homicide,” said Tronsgard-Scott.
The grant also provides funding for positions in the Rutland Police Department and the Rutland County Women's Network and Shelter.
The people in these positions will be dedicated to finding new ways to stop domestic violence homicides.
“It’s far better if you can stop it from happening. Then having to come in and figure out who did it,” said Senator Leahy.
Senator Leahy and leaders in Rutland hope the work they do in southern Vermont will set an example for the rest of the state and the country.