Gov. Beshear Announces Grant Applications Available August 1 to Fight Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Stalking and Dating Violence

Grant program supports law enforcement, prosecution, judicial strategies and victim services

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 21, 2022) – The Beshear-Coleman administration remains committed to helping the most vulnerable populations of Kentucky, including victims of domestic abuse. Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced applications will be available on August 1, 2022, to apply for grant funding to stop sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as well as to enhance victim services.

Approximately $1.8 million in funding is available to Kentucky agencies through the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution (STOP) Formula Grant Program.

“Survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault often face barriers in their journey toward justice and healing. It is critical that victims can easily access the support, advocates and services they need to ensure their safety and well-being, both in the immediate and long-term,” said Gov. Beshear. “The VAWA STOP Formula Grant Program is essential for survivors and victims to access these essential services at no extra cost to themselves.”

Grant funds from this program may be used to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement, prosecution, judicial strategies and victim services throughout Kentucky in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and/or dating violence. Funds are received from the Office on Violence Against Women, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, and awarded to several key areas based on formula allocation: 30% goes to direct victim advocacy services, of which at least 10% is distributed to culturally specific community-based organizations; 25% is allocated to prosecution; 25% to law enforcement; 5% to courts; and 15% to discretionary programs.

These funds should be used for projects that serve or focus on adults and youth (ages 11 to 17) who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. State agencies, local units of government and private not-for-profit organizations are eligible for these funds and are encouraged to apply. 

“Intimate partner violence is one of the most serious crimes in Kentucky and across the nation, and victims often have unique and layered needs.” said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey. “This funding supports victims and survivors and works to reduce and prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence in the future.”

Applications and related information can be found here.

All applications must be submitted online. New applicants are strongly encouraged to establish a user account and familiarize themselves with the system well in advance of the due date. Please note, validation of new user accounts may take 48 to 72 hours. Applications must be submitted no later than 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Assistance with the application process may be obtained by contacting Grants Management staff at

Beshear-Coleman Efforts to Combat Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

As attorney general, Gov. Beshear prioritized ending the state’s SAFE kit backlog and seeking justice for victims of sexual assault, and he has continued that dedicated focus as Governor.

As part of the Beshear-Coleman administration’s ongoing efforts to protect victims of crime, the Governor recently signed two important bills into law that will positively impact survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse. In March, Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 38 which defines Class A and B felony incest as a violent offense, requiring offenders to serve longer sentences for committing this heinous crime. Additionally, the Governor signed Senate Bill 271 into law in April to improve the ways in which domestic violence data in Kentucky is collected, analyzed and utilized. SB 271 will ultimately enhance responses and prevention efforts from agencies including law enforcement, courts and service providers, and will better meet the needs of victims and survivors.

Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has announced significant funding for victim services, awarding more than $60 million in grant funding to victim service agencies across the commonwealth.

In March, the Governor announced that an anticipated $22 million in grant funding would be available through the federal Victims of Crime Act program (VOCA) and invited eligible agencies throughout the commonwealth to apply.

“This administration is dedicated to meeting the needs of victims, ensuring they have the resources necessary to protect their safety and helping survivors along their journeys toward justice, security and healing,” said Gov. Beshear. “The funding from VAWA STOP, VOCA and other grants helps us make a safer commonwealth for all Kentuckians.”

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Investigative Team was originally formed in July 2021 after DOJ awarded $1.5 million to the commonwealth to leverage existing investigative resources within the KSP Crime Lab by transitioning three trained investigators and a criminal intelligence analyst from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General to KSP. In Jan. 2022, an additional $849,491 in grant funding from DOJ was awarded to expand the KSP SAKI team through an additional investigator who will focus their efforts on the Louisville-Jefferson County region. The overall goal of the team is to investigate and identify sexual offenders to assist in the fight to end domestic violence against all Kentuckians.

Between February and December 2021, Gov. Beshear awarded more than $4 million in grant funding to fight sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and dating violence.

Additionally, the Governor signed HB 310, sponsored by Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Jefferson County. HB 310 allows a commonwealth attorney to file a petition for an involuntary commitment for violent offenders who are incompetent to stand trial and would not benefit from additional treatment, but who are deemed a danger to themselves or others. By signing this bill, the Governor closed a gap in state law that allowed some defendants to avoid both prison time and mental health treatment.

Report Domestic Violence

If you are a victim or know someone who is a victim of sexual violence, no matter when the violence took place, please contact one of Kentucky’s 13 programs supporting all survivors of sexual assault. For more information, please visit Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs or contact one of KSP’s post locations.