Virginia Attorney General Launches "Safe in Our Communities: Community Recognition Program for Promising Practices in Domestic Violence Response"

RICHMOND, VA — Attorney General Bob McDonnell today announced a community recognition program for localities that demonstrate innovative methods to combat and respond to domestic violence.

Through the Attorney General’s “Safe in Our Communities: Community Recognition Program for Promising Practices in Domestic Violence Response,” localities may apply for official state recognition for innovative practices to combat domestic violence. Communities selected will receive recognition from the Attorney General in the Spring of 2009, as well as monetary awards from Verizon Wireless.

Speaking about the Program, Attorney General McDonnell noted, “Domestic violence has a devastating impact on the lives of our friends and neighbors. Communities that take a stand need to be recognized and their practices emulated. The Community Recognition Program does just that. Successful local initiatives highlighted through this program will be shared with law enforcement, government officials, victim services providers, and private sector organizations across the Commonwealth. Such innovation will provide new hope in the fight against domestic violence.”

Ruth Micklem, Co-Director of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, remarked, “Community collaboration is essential to effectively address domestic violence. The Attorney General’s program provides communities with a forum to increase awareness of their innovative efforts.”

A corporate leader for domestic violence prevention, Verizon Wireless is also partnering with the Office of the Attorney General and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance to launch the Community Recognition Program. Through its HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless is providing $10,000 in grant funding to the Alliance to provide monetary awards to communities that are recognized.

“We applaud the Attorney General for his continued leadership in making our communities and homes safer, and delivering hope and help to victims,” said Mike Maoirana, Verizon Wireless regional president. “We’re proud to partner in this unique initiative to recognize Virginia’s successful domestic violence prevention programs which are helping victims become survivors.”

The application deadline for the program is June 30, 2009. Applications will be reviewed by a team of local and state stakeholders, including representatives from the Virginia Municipal League, the Virginia Association of Counties, the Department of Criminal Justice Services, the Office of Family Violence, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council, the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Full details about the program and application materials can be found by visiting the Attorney General’s website,

About the Community Recognition Program

Which communities are eligible?
In order to be eligible, the community or locality must meet three requirements:

  1. The applicant locality must be a locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia (a city, county, or incorporated town, or any combination thereof within the geographic confines of a county, including any contiguous cities);
  2. The board of supervisors or governing council of the locality must adopt a resolution confirming the locality’s application for recognition by the Attorney General; and
  3. The applicant locality must designate a local coordinator representing an existing inter-agency domestic violence coordinating team as the contact point for the recognition process.

How do communities apply for recognition?
Application materials and additional program details are available on the Attorney General’s website,, or by contacting Assistant Attorney General Corie Tillman Wolf at (804) 786-9593 or

When is the deadline for applications?
The deadline for receipt of applications is January 30, 2009.

When will communities receive recognition?
Communities will receive formal recognition during the Spring of 2009.