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Greetings SASP Administrators!

The articles and resources in this newsletter continue our theme of looking at civil rights compliance. All recipients of funds from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) are obligated to be in compliance with an array of important civil rights laws and regulations, and, equally importantly, to ensure that sub-recipients are also in compliance. These laws protect both employees and clients of agencies that receive federal funds. Following up from our webinar last year, Chai Jindasurat’s article examines the new VAWA nondiscrimination provisions. The second article looks at Maine’s and Florida’s experiences with civil rights compliance monitoring, and the third provides a summary of relevant civil rights laws. Finally, a resources section provides you with links to tools and training materials that you can use and share with sub-recipients.

Congress has passed a complex and important array of civil rights laws that reveal our evolution in thinking about equality and how to operationalize that thinking for our country. Advocates for these laws have tried to ensure that all people have access to vital services-a commitment SASP administrators and coalitions share. Taking some time to review your responsibilities and the tools available to support you in your work can be an important part of ensuring justice for all survivors.

Resources for Civil Rights Compliance

LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Provisions Passed in VAWA 2013

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people face high rates of sexual violence victimization, and have historically faced unique challenges and barriers to accessing services. However, the sexual violence field has made great progress in working to meet the needs of LGBTQ survivors. Recent changes in public policy have created important protections to support LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence. Read the full article about LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Provisions Passed in VAWA 2013 at this link.

Coalition Experiences of Civil Rights Compliance Monitoring

In 2012, Maine and Florida were both recipients of a civil rights compliance review from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). As both the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence pass through federal Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) funding, they were subject to the review along with the state administering agencies and the entities with whom they subcontract. Read more about their compliance review experiences in the attachments section.

Key Civil Rights Laws Enforced by OCR

The entirety of civil rights laws enforced by The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) protect people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation (VAWA recipients), and gender identity (VAWA recipients). These are sometimes referred to as “protected classes.” Information about the civil rights enforced by OCR can be found at this link, and the article attached contains a summary of relevant laws.

Civil Rights Compliance Resources

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Office of Justice Programs at DOJ is a treasure trove of resources and training materials that are in the public domain. That means you can certainly use the materials and watch the videos, but you can also post the materials and videos to your own website and use them to train sub-recipients.

VAWA Nondiscrimination Provision FAQ This FAQ covers such topics as the definition of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex-segregated and sex-specific programming as well as requirements for grantees and administrators.

Office of Civil Rights Training for Grantees These training videos, available online, include such topics “Overview of the Office for Civil Rights and Laws Enforced” and “Civil Rights Obligations of State Administering Agencies.” The link includes instructions to reuse or repost the videos. They are in the public domain, and SASP administrators and coalitions can post the videos on their own websites.

Statutes and Regulations This page contains a list of the civil rights statutes and regulations that OCR covers and that state administering agencies, pass through coalitions, and sub-recipients are required to comply with.

Compliance Review Letter

The letter in the attachments section was received by the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (discussed in the coalition article above) announcing the civil rights compliance review and detailing the information OCR would be examining. The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence received a letter with the same content.

I wish you the best of luck in your civil rights compliance endeavors, and I’m here to help you all along the way! I’m at (515) 401-8984 or


Terri Poore, MSW
SASP Technical Assistance Specialist

The Resource Sharing Project and this newsletter are supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K037 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.