Rural Program

Rural victims of domestic/sexual violence who seek to become and remain safe from violence face geographic challenges in reaching service providers. They may need to travel great distances, and there may be limited public transportation services in their communities.  In one study, over 25% of women in small rural and isolated areas lived more than 40 miles from the closest service provider, compared to less than 1% of women in urban settings. (Source)

Program Overview


Rural Program

The Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Assistance Program (Rural Program) recognizes that victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and child sexual abuse who live in rural communities face unique challenges and barriers to receiving assistance rarely encountered in urban areas, including:

  •        Geographic isolation;
  •        Poor economic structure;
  •        Strong social and cultural pressures;
  •        Lack of available services in rural jurisdictions; and
  •        Lack of anonymity and security when seeking shelter services.

These challenges significantly compound problems facing those seeking support to end violence in their lives. They also complicate the criminal justice system’s ability to investigate and prosecute cases, and create difficulties for victim service providers to identify and assist victims.

Big Changes Are Coming

On Sept. 22, the Grants Management System (GMS) that OVW grantees have been using to report OVW-funded activities will close, and on Oct. 15, a new progress reporting platform—JustGrants—will open.  Please see the JustGrants website for more about the transition, and view the OVW Action Dates memo for transition-related date and deadline information.  Rural Program grantees will report their progress from July 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020, using the new JustGrants system.  The instructions and reporting tools on this website will be updated as soon as possible this fall to help you prepare.