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Federal Grant Helps Salt Lake Area to Expand Domestic Violence Services

Andrea Smardon

The YWCA kicked off their Week Without Violence Monday by announcing a $900,000 grant from the US Department of Justice to expand domestic violence services in the Salt Lake area. 

The Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center moved into its new home at the downtown YWCA in June this year.  At that time, the city police department started housing six detectives there. 

“We’re just getting started in terms of the center,” said Director Asha Parekh, “There’s so much more work to do in this area.  I think we’re just scratching the surface of things that we can do as a community.”

Parekh said the latest federal grant is almost double what the center has gotten in past funding cycles.  That means money to expand existing programs and to start new projects, including special services for victims of sexual violence.  Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank told KUER that it also means more money to catch perpetrators. 

"We want to stop that cycle that exists in domestic violence,”  Burbank said, “We need to do something to ensure that  - whether it’s incarceration, whether it’s treatment, whatever comes out of it for the perpetrator  - that they come out at the end of the process better and don’t feel the need to commit domestic violence.”

Officials say some funding will go towards an initiative to arrest protective order violators quickly.  Money will also go to a collaborative project with the courts, District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Corrections to increase offender accountability.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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