By Jordy Yager - 03/13/13 04:28 PM EDT
The Obama administration will give a dozen cities and counties $2.3 million in grants aimed at reducing domestic violence.
The grants are intended to help local law enforcement, prosecutors, health professionals and victims services identify possible victims of domestic violence, while monitoring abusers who pose a high risk.
They represent the latest prong in the administration’s attempt to strengthen gun laws and curb firearm-related violence. The White House said 40 percent of mass shootings over the last three years began with the killer murdering their significant other.
“We know what risk factors put someone in greater danger of being killed by the person they love — and that also means we have the opportunity to step in and try to prevent these murders. That’s why these grants are so important. They’ll help stop violence before it turns deadly.”
Attorney General Eric Holder said three women are murdered every day by their current or former boyfriend or husband.
He then offered details about some of the 15 women and four men killed the same week that Congress voted to pass the Violence Against Women Act last month.
“The day the vote took place, one woman was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her boyfriend,” said a somber Holder. “Another was shot by her husband as she left a movie theater. And yet another woman — who was five months pregnant — was also murdered by her boyfriend, who drove her body to a wooded area and burned it — all with her two young children in the car.”
A U.S. Attorney in North Carolina recently confiscated 59 rounds of ammunition from a man in Raleigh who was violating a restraining order that had been placed against him by his wife for domestic violence charges. One of the bullets, Holder said, had the name of the woman written on it.
The national grant program will mirror existing domestic violence prevention initiatives in place in Maryland and Massachusetts, which have greatly reduced the number of violent incidents each year, officials said.