Austin-Travis County receives federal funding to prevent domestic violence killings, injuries by firearms

Austin Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) was awarded a federal grant to reduce domestic violence deaths and the use of firearms to inflict injury, fear, intimidation, and coercive control over victims. 

The OVP $500,000 grant is in partnership with Travis County and SAFE Alliance. 

The project will take a comprehensive, culturally-specific approach to address firearm relinquishment to enhance victim safety by addressing the intersection of firearms and domestic violence. 

The grant from the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) works to develop and implement a standardized firearm surrender protocol that coordinates across all jurisdictions in the criminal-legal system to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. 

The grant is part of a larger effort through the Department of Justice which selected Austin as one of six new sites to participate in the Firearms Technical Assistance Project (FTAP) expansion, which includes: Tucson, Arizona; the Georgia Department of Community Supervision; Detroit, Michigan; the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley in Tennessee and Yakima, Washington.  

"Removing guns from domestic violence situations saves lives. That is a fact," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "We thank the White House and the Justice Department for selecting Austin in support of our local efforts to address gun violence." 

In addition to funding, OVP will receive technical assistance to help implement strategies for preventing the use of firearms in domestic violence incidents and incorporate community partners, particularly organizations that center on underserved populations, into planning and implementation efforts.   

County, City, and nonprofit partnerships include: 

  • Austin Travis County Family Task Force
  • Travis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Austin Police Department, including the Victim Services Division
  • Office of Police Oversight
  • Austin Public Health, Office of Violence Prevention
  • City of Austin Law Department, Civil Rights Office, and Equity Office
  • Travis County District Attorney’s Office
  • Domestic Violence High Risk Team
  • Travis County Counseling and Education Services
  • The SAFE Alliance. 

During the timeframe of this grant, OVP will be participating in the Community Violence Intervention Collaborative on the national level, creating cross-learning and information-sharing opportunities.