VT receives grant to curb domestic violence death or injury by firearm

Local News

Vermont was the only statewide selected for the ‘Firearms Technical Assistance Project’ (from here is known as FTAP), it’s a program to curb domestic violence death by firearms.

“Whether it’s in Burlington, Bennington, Brattleboro,  or Saint Johnsbury, domestic violence knows no borders,” said Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan.

Donovan told Local 22 & Local 44 News domestic violence is prevalent in Vermont. They account for half of the state’s homicides.

“Of those homicides that are domestic violence related, over half involve a firearm,” said Donovan.

This is why Donovan is excited to see the state receiving the grant. While there is no monetary value, state and local agencies will get hands-on training.

“One of the areas that I would like to see us focus on is the area of relief from abuse orders,” he said.

Donovan explains that is when someone goes to court and gets what we know as a restraining order. Currently, there isn’t much follow up after that from the victim.

“There is a steep decrease in the number of final orders that are issued a week later,” said Donovan. “A lot of victims don’t show because of fear, because of threats, because of violence.”
Agencies included in the training are; Vermont State Police, Court Administrator’s Office, and Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

   In a statement from Deputy Director Sarah Robinson for Vermont Network, she says, “This project will connect our statewide system of response to national experts who will assist us in changing policy and practice to make Vermont a safe place for victims of domestic violence in our communities.”

Last year Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) signed ACT 97 into law. A law that would keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

“One of the laws last year allows when there is relief from abuse order. Allowing police to go into and seize a firearm, whether it’s domestic violence crime,” he Donovan. “What this grant is going to do help train, and provide technical assistance, also to inform people how to access the process.”

Neighboring New York will see this program implemented only in Brooklyn.

Additionally, a single community in Alabama, Ohio, and Washington state has recieved this grant.

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